France vs. Australia: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
It's been over a decade since France and Australia met on the pitch, but on Friday night in Paris, the two countries will renew their football rivalry in an international friendly.
Who wins this match?
A 1-1 draw in Melbourne was the last outcome between Les Bleus and Socceroos, but this time France will host their first match in the all-time series at the Parc des Princes.
Australia has already secured their place in the 2014 World Cup field, but friendlies with France and Canada will close out the year for manager Holger Osieck's squad. Socceroos have won two of their last three, but are fresh off a 6-0 thrashing handed out by Brazil on Sept. 7.
France has two draws and a win over Belarus in their last three matches, but also lost to Brazil earlier this summer and likely face the reality of a playoff lottery to determine their World Cup fate. Les Bleus are currently second in Group I of their European qualifying table with 14 points.
We'll prepare you for this impending international friendly below.
When: Friday, Oct. 11, at 3 p.m. ET (8 p.m. BST)
Where: Parc des Princes, Paris, France
Watch: TF1 (France), Fox Sports 1 (Australia), Univision Deportes (United States)
Live Stream: ESPN3
Odds*: France (-350), Australia (+850), Draw (+400)
*All odds courtesy Bovada.lv.
Holger Osieck on the Hot Seat
Australia has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup next summer, but they might not be taking their current coaching staff with them to Brazil.
Fresh off an embarrassing 6-0 to the upcoming World Cup hosts in September, Osieck faces increasing speculation that a poor performance against France and Canada in the week to follow will cost him his job.
As noted by ABC Grandstand's Twitter account, Osieck isn't happy with those currently calling for his dismissal, and isn't shy about saying so:
Holger Osieck says, in light of the Socceroos' World Cup qualification, calls for his head are "out of order": http://t.co/QusTF9sn2v— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) September 24, 2013
However, a case can certainly be made against his personal point of view. Fox Sports' Football Twitter account detailed one of those opinions on Thursday:
Goal.com's Michael Huguenin agrees, saying that another blowout loss to a world superpower could lead to Osieck's firing. At the very least, the Socceroos must close the six-goal gap produced in their last match.
While it will go down as a friendly in the record books, there's much more at stake for both sides than just fitness and developing chemistry in this match.
France 3, Australia 1
Australia will be highly motivated to come out and help save their manager's job, but the simple fact remains that the majority of the talent—and the home-field advantage—favor France in this matchup.
Les Bleus will be fielding a team complete with club stars such as Patrice Evra, Yohan Cabaye, Karim Benzema, Loic Remy, Franck Ribery and Olivier Giroud, but will be without one noted contributor in Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny.
The Associated Press' Twitter account helped report that Koscielny would miss the match:
France center half Laurent Koscielny has been ruled out of the friendly vs Australia http://t.co/OcTj4iKLEs— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) October 10, 2013
That absence certainly plays into the Socceroos' hands, but Osieck will be dealing with injuries of his own. According to ESPN FC's preview of the match, Mark Milligan, Tommy Oar and Dario Vidosic are all doubtful, while Brett Holman and Tom Rogic will definitely be sidelined.
France manager Didier Deschamps will likely send out the subs in the second half, but by that time, expect his outfit to have put at least two goals on the board.
It's clear that Australia is in a precarious position heading into this match, but I'm not sure they have the guns to keep up with France—even in a friendly.
Follow Ethan Grant on Twitter.
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