France right back Benjamin Pavard says Les Bleus are expecting a physical battle against the Caltex Socceroos when the two nations clash in their Group C opener this Saturday evening.
Having touched down in Kazan following a 1-1 stalemate with the USA yesterday, Didier Deschamps’ side will be working tirelessly this week to remedy a what was a concerning performance against the Americans.
READ: Shock setback for France
Les Bleus’ struggled to break an inexperienced USA side down in their final pre-tournament friendly, and the 22-year-old is anticipating a similar challenge when they take on Australia in five days’ time.
“This was reminiscent of Australia, but I think Australia are better than the USA,” said the VfB Stuttgart defender after the match.
“But it's the same kind of context, a physical team, and they [USA] didn't need many chances to bury one.
“We'll retain the fact that we didn't lose, had we lost it we may have had some doubts. But we are now preparing for the game against Australia, which is coming up soon.”
Despite entering the FIFA World Cup™ being billed favourites by many, France’s tournament preparations have not gone as smoothly as coach Didier Deschamps would have planned.
Yesterday’s stalemate with the USA not only exposed the side’s defensive frailties (France have only kept one clean sheet in their last six matches) but saw Les Bleus struggle for cohesion in the final third, an issue that has plagued the team for some time now.
Antoine Griezmann, who started the match in a number 10 role behind Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe, says the side know they have to improve for Saturday evening’s encounter with the Caltex Socceroos.
“We’ve been trying to find the right combinations with a new formation, but they [USA] had five at the back, so it was difficult for us,” said the Atletico Madrid man.
“It's a good indication of what’s in stock for us against Australia, Peru and Denmark.
“We need to analyse this game well, we need to find some answers and win from the beginning, because it’s the most important thing.
The Caltex Socceroos take on France at the Kazan Arena next Saturday evening at 8.00pm AEST.
Aussies Abroad: Leckie deployed in new role in Hertha's thrilling Bundesliga clash with Bayern Munich
Matthew Leckie was handed a new role by Hertha Berlin head coach Ante Covic in a high-octane 2-2 draw with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. The Caltex Socceroo was regularly deployed in an attacking position by former chief Pal Dardai but the Hungarian was replaced in the o
Van Egmond pleased with Young Socceroos’ progress ahead of Myanmar Semi-Final
Gary van Egmond says his Young Socceroos deserve plenty of credit for the way they are performing and developing at the 2019 AFF U-18 Championship. The young Aussies booked their spot in the Semi-Finals of the tournament on Thursday night after a dominant 5-0 win over Singapor
Turkish Super Lig preview: Behich and Basaksehir mean business
Aziz Behich is back in Turkey with Istanbul Basaksehir, and the club at the nation?s heart well and truly mean business. ...elbourne-born Behich joined Istanbul in May, returning to the nation he was once eligible to represent through family lineage, and where he played for Burs
Bundesliga preview: Leckie and Borrello walk with giants
Australians love a challenge, and there is hardly a bigger one in the world of football than taking down Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. But you can be sure that Caltex Socceroo attackers Mathew Leckie and Brandon Borrello will give it a red-hot crack for both Hertha Berlin a