Do you have a guess? Follow. That’s right, it’s warm and dry in Al Wakrah with temperatures in the low to mid-20s. Fans and players will be cooled by air conditioning inside the stadium.
“As someone who grew up on the trusty World Cup charm of Tim Cahill, trying so hard to forget the 2018 edition of the Socceroos, I think the best I can expect from boys is fighting spirit and frustrating the world champions as long as we can contain them.” Ezra Finkelstein is there with an email that I think sums up the feelings of many Australian fans.
The main analysts on Australian TV are former internationals John Aloisi and Craig Foster and they have just presented an excellent tactical package detailing Graham Arnold’s game plan. Expect very low mass, long diagonal balls for Duke standing in a channel to let his supporting attackers feed him, and rely on Souttar from set pieces.
In case you just woke up Australia and Facilitating Events, a quick summary of what really happened in Qatar. In short: six teams, three goals, one penalty save, and upsetting upsets.
Simon McMahon has called me some tangerine pride, telling me ‘Aussie Aziz Behesh has joined Dundee United in the summer and tonight will become the first current United player to start a World Cup finals game for probably a week. Malpas, Gough, Nary, Bannon and Sturrock weren’t in Mexico 86,’ he said. But still. Harry Souttar also started his professional career at Tannadice, so go to United and go to Australia!”
The Australian national team’s ties to Scotland run very deep.
RuleSouth Africa’s Victor Gomez will blow the whistle today. He oversaw the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations final between Senegal and Egypt, and received plaudits for reporting bribes in a CAF Cup match.
It is also worth noting that the fourth official Salima Mukansanga, one of the personnel Six female officials in this tournament.
France and Australia And sports, you say? It can only mean that Richie Benaud is chewing fat in Ile de France, wearing his cream/bone/white/ivory/ivory/beige jacket. And some elephants.
Of course it is fair to share some France content as well.
Emma Kemp She is our Australian eyes and ears on the ground in Qatar and has been busy reporting on all things Socceroo.
There are fewer familiar names in Australian gold but Graham-Arnold has hand-picked an experienced backbone starting with ex-Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Ryan, Stoke City midfielder Harry Soutar, Celtic midfielder Aaron Mooy, the combative and captain Mitchell Duke.
How this XI threatens such a formidable opponent remains to be seen but expect set pieces to be important. 198cm – Souttar has scored six goals in his ten international matches and will be the focal point when Australia are awarded a corner or attacking free-kick.
France’s injury problems are well reported but even without a deep breath: Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema, Raphael Varane, Prisnel Kempebe and Christopher Nkunku, Didier Deschamps has handpicked a fine line-up.
He has gone for a youthful and attacking 4-2-3-1 formation that is super fast. Good luck keeping up with Dembele and Mbappe in the second half.
Tonight’s match gives us our first glimpse of… Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City, a smidgen south of Doha CBD. The grounds hold 40,000 fans and were designed by the late Zaha Hadid.
“The Qatari stadium’s resemblance to a woman’s genitalia may be unintentional, but I applaud that for one.” Holly Baxter wrote a few years ago. “With its bright pink color, labia-like side appendages, and large opening in the middle, the supposedly innocent building (based on the design of a traditional tugboat) was asking for trouble.”
For her part, Hadid dismissed such suggestions as “ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”
Hello everyone, and welcome to the live coverage of the eighth match of the 2022 World Cup, France vs Australia Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah. This Group D match starts at 10pm local time (6am AEST / 7pm GMT).
for the second championship in a row France And Australia opened their campaign against each other. In Kazan four years ago, the eventual champions scored a 2-1 victory with an elusive winner. They will expect more routine three-pointers tonight.
There will be a few eye-catching mismatches across all leagues, on paper at least. France are carriers world Cup and the winners of UEFA Nations League 2021. Even without some notable absentees, Les Bleus boast a squad as deep and talented as any in the competition, with a long-serving coach capable of blending a squad of capable players and brighter prospects in the game.
By contrast, Australia were ranked 38th by FIFA and required 20 matches to qualify, one ending in a penalty shootout victory over Peru. Only four members of Graham Arnold’s side have more than 50 caps (half of the group have 10 caps or fewer), and only two have signed for clubs in any of Europe’s five big leagues. “I don’t know any of the players individually,” Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate said on Sunday.
France will look to Kylian Mbappe for inspiration, a man worth hundreds of millions of dollars with a proven World Cup pedigree; Australia to Celtic’s Aaron Mooy is one of six Scotland players.
“You could say our players don’t play in the big leagues in the world and all of their players do,” Arnold said this week. “But it’s about team spirit, it’s about tying 11 players — and 26 players — together in a family environment, making sure they’re companions and that they support each other. That’s when you can get special results.”
But as early as the score may seem, it remains to be won, and France know from bitter experience how a World Cup campaign can fall apart – Especially as a champion. Besides, it fits Arnold’s character to make use of the “little Australian fighter” catchphrase. “We have Australian DNA,” he said. “We’ll go out there and fight, kick and scratch, do whatever’s needed.”
There is an hour or so before kick off so feel free to take that time to email me. Or, if you haven’t jumped ship yet, tweet to me @employee.