2022 FIFA World Cup: France Team Preview, Odds, and Predictions

The World Cup is finally here. A few months later than normal but here nonetheless. The team at RotoBaller has you covered for all your World Cup needs. We’ll bring you DFS articles, game previews, and betting picks throughout the competition.

To get things going, we’re previewing different international clubs every day until the big kick-off on Sunday, November 20. Today we continue the previews with France.

We’ll be covering a brief snapshot of the nation’s World Cup history, what to expect from the nation, a few highlighted players from the nation, and their predicted starting on the 11th.

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Today’s World Cup Sportsbook Odds – France

  • Caesars Sportsbook World Cup Odds – Bet Now on Caesars
    • Bet France to win the World Cup at +950
    • Bet France to win the Group at -286
  • BetMGM Sportsbook World Cup Odds – Bet Now on BetMGM!
    • Bet France to win the World Cup at +800
    • Bet France to win the Group at -333
  • DraftKings Sportsbook World Cup Odds – Bet Now on DraftKings!
    • Bet France to win the World Cup at +900
    • Bet France to win the Group at -280
  • PointsBet Sportsbook World Cup Odds – Bet Now on PointsBet!
    • Bet France to win the World Cup at +800
    • Bet France to win the Group at -275
  • FanDuel Sportsbook World Cup Odds – Bet Now on FanDuel!
    • Bet France to win the World Cup at +800
    • Bet France to win the Group at -240

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Preview

It’s hard to doubt Les Bleus as they begin their World Cup defense in Qatar. After conquering the world in 2018, this iteration of the squad could be even better four years later. However, critical losses in the midfield (Paul Pogba, N’golo Kante) will make France a little more vulnerable than most fans think. Remember, the last time they won the World Cup (1998), they spectacularly crashed and burned in the opening game to Senegal and failed to qualify for the knockout rounds in 2002.

Still, with the group they’ve been drawn against (Denmark, Tunisia, Australia), there aren’t many doubts that this squad will be in the knockout rounds again. Keep an eye out for Denmark to challenge them for the top spot in Group D. The Danes defeated the French in both Nations League meetings over the last six months. If France comes out on top of the group stage, their path to the final will go through Mexico/Poland, England, and then one of Belgium, Germany, Uruguay, or Portugal in the semi-finals.

That’s not an easy slate of games for any team, and with Karim Benzema nursing a muscle injury, it’ll be interesting to see if this French side can weather that gauntlet. It won’t be as bad as their flameout at the 2002 World Cup or the 2020 Euros, but I don’t expect Les Bleus to go back-to-back. A loss in the final to Argentina or Brazil is my call.

Prediction: Runners-up

Who is Starting for (France’s) Squad in the 2022 World Cup

Predicted Starting 11 (4-3-1-2): Lloris, Hernandez, Varane, Kounde, Pavard, Rabiot, Camavinga, Tchouameni, Greizmann, Mbappe, Benzema

Alternate Options By Position:

GK: Areola, Mandanda

DF: Disasi, Hernandez, Konate, Saliba, Upamecano

MF: Fofana, Guendouzi, Veretout

FW: Coman, Dembele, Giroud, Kolo Muani, Thuram

Who Are France’s Best Players To Watch?

Defense: Hugo Lloris – GK (Tottenham Hotspurs)

Saturday, Nov. 19 marks the 14th anniversary of Lloris’ first cap for his country. He’s made 139 appearances for France and trails Lilian Thurman (142) by three for the all-time record. If France reaches the knockout rounds, he’ll surpass the legendary defender. In 14 World Cup starts, the Spurs goalkeeper has seven clean sheets and was the man between the sticks when France captured the trophy in 2018.

He’s not at the peak of his powers anymore, but he’s been a constant for French manager Didier Deschamps since he took the helm in 2012. There’s nothing to worry about with Lloris, and that sort of dependability will keep this French defense in check throughout the tournament. A couple of clean sheets in the group stages and some timely saves in the knockout rounds should be expected.

Midfield: Aurelien Tchouameni – CM/CDM (Real Madrid)

If things had gone according to plan, Aurelien Tchouameni, Karin Benzema, and Kylian Mbappe would have played together in Madrid for the last six months. But, alas, Mbappe decided to stay in Paris, and Tchouameni became the most significant addition to the Real Madrid squad over the summer. For a not-so-cheap sum of €80 million, the up-and-coming defensive stalwart made it possible for the 14-time Champions League winners to move on from Casemiro.

Now, the 22-year-old will anchor a French midfield without Pogba and Kante. Fortunately, he gained some experience while starting five of the six Nations League games for his country. The World Cup is a different ballgame, but tune-up games against Tunisia and Australia should allow Tchouameni to settle in nicely on the world’s biggest stage. His contributions don’t show up on the scoresheet, but if France makes a deep run, he will have played a vital role in Les Bleu’s success.

Forward: Kylian Mbappe – ST (PSG)

With the headlines swirling around Karim Benzema’s injury status, Kylian Mbappe is almost flying under the radar heading into Qatar. His PSG teammates Lionel Messi and Neymar are also expecting deep runs in the tournament. The FIFA 23 cover man doesn’t seem to be under the spotlight as much as fans would think. However, after claiming Best Young Player at the 2018 World Cup, Mbappe still has a lot of expectations on his shoulder if Les Bleus are going to become back-to-back Champions.

Mbappe’s played 19 games between Ligue 1 and the Champions League this year, and the 23-year-old has 19 goals and five assists to his name. That’s some fantastic form to bring into a World Cup, along with his sparkling national team record. In 59 games for France, he bagged 28 goals and 21 assists. In 2018 in Russia, he notched four goals and an assist on his way to becoming a World Cup champion. He’s only gotten better since then, and he will easily surpass both totals in Qatar.

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