KAZAN, Russia (Reuters) – France coach Didier Deschamps left veteran striker Olivier Giroud out of his starting 11 for the World Cup opener against Australia and has picked Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele in a young but potent front three with striker Antoine Griezmann.
As expected, the injured Djibril Sidibe has been replaced at right back by Benjamin Pavard but Paul Pogba has been retained in a midfield featuring Corentin Tolisso for the Group C match at Kazan Arena on Saturday.
Australia coach Bert van Marwijk has retained captain and stalwart midfielder Mile Jedinak, quashing speculation he might leave the Aston Villa man out.
The inexperienced Andrew Nabbout will line up as a likely front man for the Socceroos with wingers Robbie Kruse and Mathew Leckie.
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty