News Live Scores

Socceroos must have the guts to play football against France, says Bert van Marwijk

03:50 IST 15/06/2018
Bert van Marwijk Socceroos
The green and gold have been urged to back their own football ability against the French

Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk doesn't want his Australian players taking a backwards step when they tackle France in their 2018 World Cup opener. 

The French arrive in Kazan as strong favourites to see off the green and gold, with the Socceroos expected to sit back in an attempt to absorb France's many attacking threats.

Van Marwijk however has called on his players not to be scared of playing football against a France side that were held to a 1-1 draw with the USA in their final friendly

"Against France, you must have the guts to play football, to be yourself and then you can find a free man at No.10," van Marwijk said.

"Against countries like France, maybe you get more possibilities to play because their field is a lot of time wide so you can play between - only you have to take the right position and have the guts to do that."

Eight years ago at the 2010 World Cup, it's safe to say some of the Socceroos were star struck against Germany as Australia suffered a costly 4-0 defeat in their opening group game.

A repeat of such a result would spell disaster for van Marwijk's side in Russia and the coach has stressed to his players that they musn't be overawed by the men they'll be lining up against on Saturday. 

"When suddenly (Paul) Pogba is standing in front of you or (Antoine) Griezmann and (Kylian) Mbappe ... you must not be impressed," he said.

"You can have respect. But you must not be impressed. You must be yourself."