France vs. Honduras: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview

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France vs. Honduras: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and 2014 World Cup Preview
Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

France are looking to take a stranglehold in Group E from the offset on Sunday as their 2014 World Cup begins with a clash against group minnows Honduras in Porto Alegre.

The French have been in irresistible form during pre-tournament friendlies, and they're now looking to carry that on to Brazil.

Four years ago in South Africa, France's tournament was nothing short of a disaster. This time around, though, they're much better prepared, and opening with a confidence-boosting fixture will help them to settle quickly in Brazil.

 

Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre

Date: Sunday 15 June

Time: 8 p.m. BST/3 p.m. ET

TV Info: BBC One/ABC

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer/ABC Go

 

Perfect Start to Life Without Ribery

Losing arguably your best player on the eve of a World Cup is never a good thing, but it's the cruel hand France were dealt in early June.

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery was ruled out of the tournament with a persisting back injury, though it's not all doom and gloom for Les Bleus.

Such is the squad depth of Didier Deschamps' side that it's more than capable of handling the group stage and beyond, as its recent 8-0 friendly victory over Jamaica proved.

With Ribery out of the side, striker Karim Benzema operated on the left wing against the Jamaicans and did so to devastating effect.

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

The Real Madrid man bagged two impressive goals and assisted two more during France’s comprehensive victory in Villeneuve d'Ascq, according to Soccerway, leaving Olivier Giroud to lead the line.

Used to playing as a provider for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at Madrid, Benzema thrived on the left and brought the best out of Giroud up front.

Per the Agence France-Presse (via FIFA.com), the Arsenal man revealed that he's in good shape heading into the World Cup and believes he deserves a place in the starting line-up.

"Yes, of course (I deserve to start)," Giroud said. "I am happy with how I played in the warm-up games. I feel on form and very positive. I hope to get a lot of playing time."

Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

However, one man that could stop the 27-year-old from enjoying a starting berth against Honduras is Antoine Griezmann, who also scored a brace against Jamaica.

Griezmann, who came on as a 71st-minute substitute for Giroud, is a more natural replacement for Ribery on the wing and certainly demonstrated his credentials with a fine 20 minutes of football.

Deschamps, then, will have some big decisions to make before fielding a side to take on Honduras, who head into the tournament needing to turn their form around.

As Soccerway shows, Honduras have won just one of their last seven internationals heading into the tournament, though they did manage a 0-0 draw against England on 7 June.

A squad with lots of running power and aerial ability, Honduras will need to play to their strengths if they're to take anything away from the French, who may face a tough task in breaking the Central Americans down.

Prior to the match, Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe weighed in on what Honduras must do to win the clash:

Honduras have one proviso for the game ahead: close the space, mark the dangermen and play stubborn, careful football.

They'll likely be restricted to counterattacks and sit very deep in their half, with only Emilio Izaguirre, Roger Espinoza and one of Bengtson or Costly permitted to run with the ball.

USA TODAY Sports

Soccerway's stats show that Honduras haven't conceded more than two goals in a competitive fixture since July 2013, and keeping a clean sheet against England will do them the world of confidence.

However, the star-studded French have more than enough ability in their ranks to find a way to goal on Sunday, and if Griezmann, Giroud and Benzema find form, it could be a comprehensive victory.

With Switzerland and Ecuador still to play in Group E, France will look to use the clash with Honduras to find the perfect line-up and adjust to the difficult Brazilian conditions.

However, Honduras aren't at the World Cup to make up the numbers, and the French must keep their focus, or they could be facing more major tournament embarrassment.

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