Antoine Griezmann has been named as the central striker in France’s starting lineup for their World Cup opener against Australia.
One of the biggest challenges for Didier Deschamps this week was to figure out a system that allowed the likes of Griezmann and Paul Pogba to play their natural game while also maximising the effectiveness of the team as a whole – and this his how he has decided to come at the clash in Kazan on Saturday morning.
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) June 16, 2018
The Atletico forward will start as the central striker in a 4-3-3 formation, flanked by Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele. Pogba, meanwhile, will operate on the left of a midfield three (which, in what perhaps became the most overused line of all by pundits last season, is seen as his best position) next to Bayern’s Corentin Tolisso, with N’Golo Kante at the base.
It’s a big day too for the full-backs, both Benjamin Pavard on the right and Lucas Hernandez on the left are making their first competitive starts for Les Bleus – a big call from Deschamps.
Australia, meanwhile, have named both Tom Rogic and Aaron Moory in the starting lineup as manager Bert van Marwijk attempts to find a system that can fully accommodate both. Aston Villa’s Mile Jedinak completes the three-man midfield in what also looks set to be a 4-3-3 formation, albeit one that could switch to either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1 throughout.
Millwall veteran Tim Cahill, meanwhile, is named on the bench. Should he enter the fray, this will be is fourth consecutive World Cup finals appearance for the Socceroos.
Australia, your team is in!
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) June 16, 2018
This match is one of four on the schedule on Saturday, as Groups C and D roar into life.