3 key players to face Caltex Socceroos in Group C: France

The Caltex Socceroos will need to be at their very best when they take on heavyweights France in Group C's opening game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

From a squad dripping with talent, we've picked out three key players who will need to be watched closely in Kazan.


The world's second-most expensive footballer is capable of filling just about any role in midfield, but it's as a box-to-box presence that he's at his most damaging.

Skillful on the ball and a threat from range, Australia's plans will need to be spot on in order to quell the Manchester United man's influence.

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba will be a tough prospect in Russia.


While he hasn't been at his best for Atletico Madrid this season, 26-year-old Griezmann remains the jewel in Les Bleus' star-studded attacking arsenal.

The silky forward eased France's concerns over their arguable lack of an out-and-out goalscorer by netting six times at Euro 2016, where he was named player of the tournament.

And with Kylian Mbappe still only a teenager, Griezmann's proven ability to produce in major tournaments means he'll  again be the go-to man in Russia.

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann is key to France's forward structure.


Real Madrid spotted his talent in 2011 and Varane, still only 24, has developed into the complete defensive package.

Comfortable on the ball, tactically aware and a fine athlete, the Lens product has already won 40 caps and is Didier Deschamps' first-choice centre-back ahead of the likes of Laurent Koscielny and Samuel Umtiti.

Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane's achievements belie his age.