Australia vs Honduras
ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia - November 15, 2017 Australia's Tim Cahill and team mates celebrate qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Reuters

Which of the ridiculous options at his disposal will Didier Deschamps use, and will it be the right ones? Those are the questions as France open their Fifa World Cup 2018 campaign against Australia in Group C on Saturday.

Owing to the incredible talent at Deschamps' disposal, France have been rightly termed as one of the favourites for the World Cup title. Well, there is no better way to enhance that feeling than by getting off to a flying start, with a smashing win over the Socceroos.

France have talent from back to front, and while some of the players pick themselves, Deschamps does have a few important decisions to make, chief of them being who will play up front with Antoine Griezmann.

Kylian Mbappe looks certain to join Griezmann, who recently made headlines with a nonsense "decision" video over his future, with Deschamps then left with one more player to choose.

It could be Thomas Lemar or Olivier Giroud, who will come in handy against a team that likes to defend deep, or maybe even Nabil Fekir could be given a job out wide, with Mbappe playing down the middle and Griezmann on the left.

However, going by the training sessions, it does look like Deschamps has given the starting XI nod to Ousmane Dembele, the winger who did not have the greatest of seasons with Barcelona, but has the talent to set this Fifa World Cup in Russia alight.

In midfield, Paul Pogba will be tasked with making France tick. Too much has been written about the midfielder, too much has been talked about the midfielder, now it is that "walk the walk" time, and Pogba really cannot have any more excuses. He needs to show he has what it takes to do it on the world stage.

Australia will look at this game as a free hit; one that nobody expects them to win. With new manager Bert Van Marwijk still feeling himself into his new role, it remains to be seen what sort of lineup he goes with against France.

Van Marwijk is known for his pragmatic approach, so don't be surprised if he goes in with a conservative starting XI, one that will allow him to pack the midfield and defend deep against this dangerous France side.

Team news:


Mbappe picked up a slight knock in training earlier this week, but the forward is expected to be fine for this match in Kazan.

Right-back Djibril Sidibe is a major doubt for France's opener, with Benjamin Pavard, more comfortable at centre-back, expected to take his place in the starting XI.


Striker Tomi Juric has been given the all-clear from a knee injury, but Van Marwijk might not take a risk, with Andrew Nabbout, Tim Cahill and Jamie Maclaren the other options.

Captain Mile Jedinak, whose goals got Australia into this World Cup, is likely to be left on the bench, with the manager expected to go with Aaron Mooy, Tom Rogic and Massimo Luongo in midfield.

Expected starting XI:


Lloris; Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Mendy; Matuidi, Kante, Pogba; Dembele, Mbappe, Griezmann.


Ryan; Risdon, Milligan, Sainsbury, Behich; Mooy, Luongo, Rogic; Leckie, Kruse; Nabbout.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Global live stream and TV listings

Singapore: StarHub TV and StarHub Go


USA: Fox and Telemundo.

Russia: VGTRK

Middle East: Bein Sports.