WORLD CUP SATURDAY – PART 1

FRANCE vs AUSTRALIA

Group C – 11am BST – Kazan

RECENT FORM

France – While the France team has been in decent form in the warm up games, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has not, making 2 clangers recently. Still France come in to the tournament on the back of a 1-1 draw with USA and 2-0 and 3-1 wins over Republic of Ireland and Italy respectively.

Australia – Recent wins over Czech Republic and Hungary put Australia in good stead going into the tournament. Midfielder Matthew Leckie scored twice as Czech Republic were defeated 4-0 while a 92nd minute own goal helped Australia to a 2-1 win in Hungary.

LIKELY LINE UPS

France – (4-3-3) Lloris; Sidibe, Varane, Umtitti, Mendy; Pogba, Kante, Matuidi; Griezmann, Giroud, Mbappe

Australia – (4-2-3-1) Ryan; Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich; Leckie, Luongo; Mooy, Kruse, Rogic; Nabbout

PREDICTIONS

Question marks remain over France and Didier Deschamps changing tactics. However, they will be too good for Australia here, especially if Griezmann finds form. France 2-0 Australia.

TIPS

France 2-0 – 11/2 (Price boost)

Giroud to score a header – 9/2

Mbappe first goalscorer – 7/2

(SkyBet)

ARGENTINA vs ICELAND

Group C – 2pm BST – Moscow

RECENT FORM

Argentina – Possibly under prepared for the World Cup, Argentina have only played 1 warm up game, a 4-0 win over Haiti. Back in March they were hammered 6-1 by Spain.

Iceland – Despite an impressive qualifying campaign, Iceland have failed to win their last 4 friendlies, with defeats to Mexico, Peru and Norway among those.

LIKELY LINE UPS

Argentina – (4-4-2) Caballero; Salvio, Otamendi, Rojo, Tagliafico; Macherano, Biglia, Di Maria, Meza; Messi, Aguero

Iceland – (4-2-3-1) Halldorsson; Saevarsson, Amason, R. Sigurdsson, Magnusson; Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson; Gudmundsson, G. Sigurdsson, Bjarnasson; Bodvarsson

PREDICTIONS

Argentina should be winning this game. They will be looking to make a real statement in their opening game. Hopefully Iceland can show the spirited performance they showed in the Euros but it won’t be enough. Argentina 3-1 Iceland

TIPS

Meza first goalscorer – 12/1

Messi to score a brace – 3/1

Sigurdsson to score from outside the area – 16/1

(SkyBet)

– Robert Shiers

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