The Socceroos kick off their 2018 FIFA World Cup™ campaign against European heavyweights France on Saturday night at 8pm AEST.
With two friendly wins under their belts and more than three weeks of preparation in Antalya, Turkey, Bert van Marwijk’s side landed in Russia to gear up for the challenge of Les Bleus.
Here’s all you need to know about the clash with France and how you can watch and follow all the action in Kazan.
Current world ranking: 7th
Where? Kazan Arena, Kazan
When? Saturday 16 June 2018, kick off at 8pm (AEST)
Broadcast: You can watch the game LIVE in Australia on SBS and Optus Sport.
How to follow: Fans can also keep up to date with all the previews, in-game and post-game content across our official social media channels, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video, interviews and highlights.
Socceroos Official Twitter - @Socceroos
Socceroos Official Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Socceroos/
France's Star Player: Antonie Greizmann
The French squad is a star-studded one, but Greizmann is perhaps the standout player. The Atlético Madrid winger is one of France’s most experienced players at international level in the FIFA World Cup squad.
Greizmann's 54 caps at international level are bettered only by Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi, Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and French captain Hugo Lloris.
At his last major international tournament, Euro 2016, Greizmann won the Golden Boot and was named the player of the tournament.
France has lost just one match in the past year, a 3-2 defeat to Colombia in a friendly back in March. Their most recent match was a 1-all draw with the United States.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (PSG), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibé (AS Monaco), Lucas Hernandez (Atlético Madrid), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Thomas Lemar (AS Monaco), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla), Antoine Greizmann (Atlético Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappé (PSG), Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
In the past three meetings between Australia and France, the Caltex Socceroos boast a strong record against one of the world’s best sides – a win, a draw, and a loss.
The last meeting saw Australia travel to Paris and meet the French in a friendly match at Parc des Princes back in 2013. Six goals to the home side condemned the Caltex Socceroos to a 6-0 defeat.
To find a match between the two nations before that, you have to go all the way back to a November 2001 friendly at the MCG. The Aussies could have come out victors on a rainy Melbourne night, but instead had to settle for a 1-all draw.
That fixture wasn’t the best result the Caltex Socceroos had against France in 2001 though. Drawn in the same group at the 2001 Confederations Cup, a 60th-minute goal from Clayton Zane saw the Aussies secure a famous 1-0 victory over the then-world champions.
Aussies Abroad: Jeggo stars in Vienna derby, Ryan edged by Chelsea in Premier League
A clean sheet, a title race and a derby goal headlined an action-packed night for our overseas Australians. In Austria, James Jeggo opened his account for the season in Austria Wien’s 6-1 hammering of Rapid Wien in the Vienna derby. DEGENEK REFLECTS: Caltex Socceroos defend
Aussies Abroad: Luongo, Irvine help sides to important Championship wins
Massimo Luongo and Jackson Irvine both braved atrocious English weather to help steer their sides to Championship victories on Sunday morning (AEDT). And in warmer temperatures, Matt Jurman’s Al Ittihad broke through for their first win of the Saudi Arabia Pro League season at
Degenek not taking his foot off the gas
Twelve months ago, Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek was playing in Japan — now, he’s tearing up Serbia’s SuperLiga, having been named in the league’s best eleven for the first half of the season. It’s a credit to Degenek, 24, who signed with Red Star Belgrade in July
Degenek named in Serbian Superliga's best XI
Caltex Socceroos defender Milos Degenek has been named in the Serbian Superliga’s best eleven players of the first half of the season after his performances for Red Star Belgrade. AUSSIES ABROAD: Sainsbury denies former club Inter in first UCL start READ MORE: Where you can w