The French squad is stacked with quality players, so they are expected to get a long way in Russia.
France World Cup Fixtures, Squad, Group, Guide
France vs Peru (21st June) Match Report
France Starting XI: 1 Hugo Lloris, 2 Benjamin Pavard, 4 Raphael Varane, 5 Samuel Umtiti, 6 Paul Pogba (15 Steven Nzonzi 89), 7 Antoine Griezmann (18 Nabil Fekir 80), 9 Olivier Giroud, 10 Kylian Mbappe (11 Ousmane Dembele 75). 13 N’Golo Kante, 14 Blaise Matuidi, 21 Lucas Hernandez
Peru Starting XI: 1 Pedro Gallese, 2 Alberto Rodriguez (4 Anderson Santamaria 46), 6 Miguel Trauco, 8 Christian Cueva (11 Raul Ruidiaz 82), 9 Paolo Guerrero, 15 Christian Ramos, 17 Luis Advincula, 18 Andre Carrillo, 19 Yoshimar Yotun (10 Jefferson Farfan 46) , 20 Edison Flores, 23 Pedro Aquino
France 1 Peru 0
France: Mbappe 36
France did just enough to knock Peru out of the tournament and reach the knockout stage themselves. They were far from convincing for much of the game while Peru, backed by noisy fans who packed the stadium in Yekaterinburg, deserved more for their positive approach.
Peru’s best chance of the first half fell to the unmarked Paolo Guerrero, who had started in place of Jefferson Farfan, but he shot straight at Hugo Lloris. Within a minute, Kylian Mpabbe had scored his World Cup goal, latching on to an effort from Olivier Giroud, who been brought in by France coach Didier Dechamps to bring a more of focal point to the French attack, with the ineffective Antoine Griezmann dropping deeper.
Farfan’s introduction at half-time added to Peru’s attacking options and for much of the remainder of the game they pushed a subdued France back into their own half. But the South Americns lacked a cutting edge to keep themselves in the tournament.
Matter of fact
Kylian Mbappe, aged 19 years and six months, became France’s youngest tournament scorer after recording his first World Cup goal.
VAR was used to correct a case of mistaken identity when Peru’s Edison Flores was initially shown a yellow card before referee Mohammed Mohammed changed his decision and booked Pedro Aquino instead.
Possession (%): 44/56
Goal attempts: 12/10
Attempts on target: 6/6
Pass accuracy (%): 77/81
Distance covered (km): 103/102
France vs Australia (June 16th) Match Report
A much anticipated France side kick off their World Cup campaign against Australia. Match preview here.
France Starting XI: 1 Hugo Lloris, 2 Benjamin Pavard, 4 Raphael Varane, 5 Samuel Umtiti, 6 Paul Pogba, 7 Antoine Griezmann (9 Olivier Giroud 70), 10 Kylian Mbappe, 11 Ousmane Dembele (9 Nabil Fekir 70), 12 Corentin Tolisso (14 Blaise Matuidi 78), 13 N’Golo Kante, 21 Lucas Hernandez
Australia Starting XI: 1 Mat Ryan, 5 Mark Milligan, 7 Mathew Leckie, 10 Robbie Kruse (17 Daniel Arzani 83), 11 Andrew Nabbout (9 Tomi Juric 64), 13 Aaron Mooy, 15 Mile Jedinak, 16 Aziz Behich, 19 Josh Risdon, 20 Trent Sainsbury, 23 Tom Rogic (22 Jackson Irvine 72)
France 2 Australia 1
France: Griezmann 58pen, Behich 82og
Australia: Jedinak 62pen
France, despite their attacking talents, gave a lackustre performance in their opening game. They lacked energy and did just enough to edge past an Australia side who withstood an early flurry of French attacks to settle well in the game. France claimed their victory with the help of video technology: their opening goal was the first to be awarded by the VAR, their second needed goalline technology to confirm the ball had crossed the line.
Matter of fact
Mile Jedinak became the first Australia to captain his country at two World Cups – and to score from the penalty spot at two World Cups.
France’s opening goal was the first to be awarded in the World Cup following consultation with the video referee (VAR). It was a contentious decision, with Australia claiming that Josh Risdon made contact with the ball before he fouled Antoine Griezmann. But referee Andres Cunha, alerted by the VAR, consulted with the pitchside monitor and awarded the penalty.
Possession (%): 51/49
Goal attempts: 12/4
Attempts on target: 4/2
Pass accuracy (%): 87/85
Distance covered (km): 103/111
France World Cup Guide
France qualified for the 2018 World Cup by topping European Group A, but Sweden pushed them all the way to the final round of matches. Didier Deschamps’ team needed a win in their last game against Belarus to be sure of going to Russia and delivered a 2-1 victory at Stade de France.
Key Moments in Qualifying
Memories of a laborious 0-0 draw with Belarus are banished by an impressive 4-1 home win over Bulgaria – despite falling behind to a sixth-minute penalty.
Facing Sweden in Solna, keeper Hugo Lloris commits a howler in added time, messing up a clearance that allows Ola Toivonen to score from the halfway line as France lose 2-1.
Thomas Lemar scores twice in a 4-0 win over Holland. Kylian Mbappe scores his first international goal and Deschamps’ team go top of the group as Sweden lose 3-2 in Bulgaria.
First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud wrap up qualification with a 2-1 victory at home to Belarus.
Related: Franck Ribery December 2005
France World Cup Group
France World Cup Friendlies
France let a two goal lead slip away against Colombia on the 23rd of March to lose 3-2. Four days later they bounced back with a 3-1 win against the hosts Russia. Two more wins followed against the Republic of Ireland and Italy. Their final game was against the USA and an uninspiring draw was the result.
- 23rd March – Colombia (lost 3-2)
- 27th March – Russia (won 3-1)
- 28th May – Republic of Ireland (won 2-0)
- 1st June – Italy (won 3-1)
- 9th June – USA (drew 1-1)
France World Cup Fixtures
Related: Christian Eriksen May 2010
Didier Deschamps, age 49 (15.10.68)
The former France captain won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 as a player before taking over as the country’s coach in 2012. Known for his no-nonsense style, his mistrust of the press and an ability to make tough decisions, he signed a contract extension in October that will keep him in charge until 2020.
Antoine Griezmann is one of the most coveted attackers in the game. Teen striker Kylian Mbappe is being hailed as one of the world’s most exciting talents.
Goalkeeper and national team skipper Hugo Lloris is fast closing in on a century of appearances. Raphael Varane brings calm and authority to the centre of defence, while Blaise Matuidi remains a Deschamps favourite in midfield.
Karim Benzema is technically available for selection after his alleged involvement in a sex-tape scandal in 2015, but the striker hasn’t been picked for more than two years. Left-back Benjamin Mendy has been out injured since September.
Mbappe and Mendy both made their debuts in a 3-1 win in Luxembourg.
France World Cup Squad
Final World Cup Squad –
GOALKEEPERS: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
DEFENDERS: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
MIDFIELDERS: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
Probable Starting XI
France World Cup Injuries
Laurent Koscielny suffered an injury to his Achilles and will miss the tournament.
The Unanswered Questions
Will Didier Deschamps stick to his preferred 4-3-3 system?
Having dabbled with 4-4-2, will he be daring and flexible enough to employ other systems? With the defensive talent at his disposal, three at the back isn’t unimaginable.
Related: Antoine Griezmann November 2011
Can N’Golo Kante establish himself as a world star?
Acknowledged as the Premier League’s best midfielder last season, the Chelsea player now needs to make his mark at international level.
Will this be the World Cup that establishes Paul Pogba?
The midfielder has all the attributes to become a world star, but he’s not there yet. Russia could be the stage on which that all changes.
Will there be any surprise selections?
France have so much talent it’s frightening, but yes there have been. Defender Aymeric Laporte, midfielders Tiemoue Bakayoko and Wylan Cyprien, and strikers Moussa Dembele, Alexandre Lacazette have been omitted. Wingers Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman have also failed to make the squad.
Is today’s France better than the team that made it to the Final of Euro 2016?
Quite possibly, as they have more athletic full-backs to call on and some audacious youngsters emerging up front. Deschamps has tons of talent at his disposal but needs to make the team gel sufficiently to go all the way.
At World Soccer we will update you with all the news related to the World Cup on our website. Make sure you know about the Groups, Friendlies, Dates, Fixtures, Stadiums, TV Schedule, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.
Also don’t forget to follow World Soccer on Facebook, and Twitter.