France are the current holders, having won the tournament in 2018 and will be looking to become just the third nation to successfully defend their World Cup, after Italy (1934,1938) and Brazil (1958,1962) when they take to the field in Qatar.
Les Blues went through their World Cup qualification campaign unbeaten, picking up five wins and three draws as they topped a group including Ukraine and Finland. They are also the current Nations League champions, having beaten Spain in the final 12 months ago.
However, they have not enjoyed their football in 2022 to date, having drawn two and lost two of their four Nations League games.
Not only that, but Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante’s absences are sure to hit Les Blues hard while Raphael Varane is struggling with injury, and many people tipping them as potential flops of the tournament despite their vast array of talent available.
Drawn in a group with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia, Didier Deschamps’ side will have high expectations of making it all the way through the knockout stages and lifting the trophy once more.
France World Cup 2022 Tips
Read the latest France odds ahead of the World Cup, including their odds to win the tournament, odds to claim the golden boot, 101 Great Goals’ top tip and more 2022 World Cup predictions and tips.
France World Cup Predictions
France have been strongly tipped to win the tournament and have long been fancied for an era of international domination, owing to a vastly talented squad with an embarrassment of riches. The enthusiasm has been dampened somewhat by a disappointing performance at Euro 2020 - they were knocked out on penalties by Switzerland - and accusations surrounding the team harmony, but if they can pull together they are undoubtedly one of the teams to beat and should go far in the tournament - especially given recent experiences.
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Total appearances: 16
First qualification: 1930
Most recent: 2018
Best achievement: Winners (1998, 2018)
World Ranking: 4
Overall record: P66, W34, D13, L19
The star of football in 2022, Kylian Mbappe will be looking to spearhead his side to a second consecutive World Cup, having scored four times in their 2018 success.
Now comfortably among the world’s elite players, he terrorises defences on a weekly basis and will be a major threat once more come November.
Absent four years ago due to off-the-field issues, Benzema will be one of the few within the France squad that haven’t got their hands on the Jules Rimet, and the Real Madrid striker will be desperate to cap his reintegration to the national team with another win.
Offering a more lethal focal point to France’s attack than Olivier Giroud, who failed to score four years ago, he will be a key part of any run deep into the competition Les Blues put together.
While he is in many ways a shadow of the player that dominated midfield across world football four years ago, N’Golo Kante will still be a vital part of Didier Deschamps’ side, especially with experienced partner Paul Pogba set to miss the tournament through injury.
Should he remain fit, he will be a key cog in the France midfield alongside the likes of Aurelian Tchouameni, Matteo Guendouzi and Adrien Rabiot.
Kante’s experience, work rate and ability will be crucial for Les Blues.
Deschamps is one of only three men to have won the World Cup as a captain, and as a player having led Les Blues to the 1998 triumph before masterminding the 2018 win. Despite having such a rich array of attacking talent at his disposal, Deschamps favours a more pragmatic approach and will be under pressure to deliver after a disappointing Euro 2020.
Fan expectation for France in the World Cup
“I think I probably take a more pessimistic view than a lot of people and it’s crazy to say when you just look at the quality of players that France have to choose from, but I don’t think that they are in a good space right now. There’s a lot of first teamers who are not in the best form or fitness, there’s a lot of people who are sort of on the fringes of the team but aren’t quite making that push to make their place indisputable.
“French fans aren’t anywhere near as obsessed with football as England, Spain or Italy, so there’s very little fuss about the World Cup anyway.
“I think it’s the same as heading into the Euros, though a bit more dampened. I don’t think that we are going to go in thinking that it is a formality, which I think that some people did think about the Euros. But, with the squad that France have got, they have to be one of the favourites, but I think generally the official line is ‘if we get to the semi-final, we are par, and then anything after that is great’.
“So in essence ‘we’re going in it to win, but semi-final is fine. Less than semi-final is a failure. I think probably they will take the same attitude with the World Cup.”
France Golden Boot Prediction
Kylian Mbappe is the obvious choice to be top-scorer for France, but it could be foolish to overlook serial goalscorer Karim Benzema, who has been in career-best form for Real Madrid. Having claimed the Champions League golden boot in 2022 and struck a career-best-equalling 46 goals across all competitions, for the second successive year. He has flourished having been made the main man in Madrid, but things have been less straightforward on the international stage. It remains to be seen whether he can dovetail with Mbappe as their potential suggests they should, but if he can then he is undoubtedly the man for the occasion and can be relied on to score crucial goals.
101′s France World Cup Tip
101 Great Goals are backing France to go a long way in the World Cup. Given the strength of their squad and recent experience, a semi-final should be the least of their expectations and a fairly safe bet.
France stats, fixtures and results
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