- The record between France and Australia on neutral ground is perfectly balanced with a 1-0 win each (for France in Japan in May 1994 and for Australia in South Korea in June 2001). Their last encounter ended in a 6-0 win for Les Bleus in Paris, including a brace by Olivier Giroud.
- France have qualified for their 15th World Cup. It’s their sixth appearance in a row, their longest ever run.
- France have topped their group only twice in their last nine World Cup appearances (1998, 2014). In fact, they’ve won only three of their last 12 group games (D5 L4), it came against Togo, Honduras and Switzerland.
- France have only won one of their last four opening World Cup games (D2 L1), beating Honduras in 2014 (3-0).
- France’s last 23 goals in the competition have been scored from inside the box, the last goal from distance coming from Lilian Thuram in the 1998 semi-final against Croatia.
- Australia have qualified for their fifth World Cup, their fourth in a row. They had only made one appearance prior to the 21st century, that was in 1974 when they finished bottom of their group and didn’t score a single goal.
- Australia have reached the knockout stages of the World Cup on one occasion, it was in 2006 when they were eliminated in the Last 16 by eventual winners Italy.
- Australia have won only two of their 13 games at the World Cup, against Japan in 2006 (3-1) and Serbia in 2010 (2-1), and kept only one clean sheet (0-0 v Chile, 1974).
- Tim Cahill has scored five of Australia’s 11 goals at the World Cup (45%). He’s one of nine players to have scored in each of the last three World Cups.
- This is Didier Deschamps’ third consecutive major tournament as France manager, after reaching the 2014 World Cup quarter-finals and the 2016 Euro final (beaten by Portugal after extra-time). He captained France as they won the World Cup on home soil in 1998, playing in six of his team’s seven games.
- Ange Postecoglou led Australia to their fifth World Cup campaign but he resigned from his post a week after the play-off win against Honduras. He was replaced by Bert van Marwijk in January 2018. He will lead the Socceroos at the tournament after guiding Saudi Arabia to qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.