Australia's Mile Jedinak (left), celebrates after scoring against Honduras during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Intercontinental play-off football match between Australia and Honduras at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Wednesday, November 15, 2017.(AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Australia's Mile Jedinak (left), celebrates after scoring against Honduras during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Intercontinental play-off football match between Australia and Honduras at Stadium Australia in Sydney, Wednesday, November 15, 2017.(AAP Image/Brendan Esposito) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY BRENDAN ESPOSITO

SOCCER-GU-ROOS: Can we defeat the French?

FOOTBALL: The Socceroos are deep in final preparations for their opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals against France tonight.

It has been a long road to the Cup for the Australians who had the longest qualification run of any side.

Can the Aussies cause the first shock of the cup with a win against Les Bleus?

We turned to the Clarence Valley's football community for the answer.

From North Coast Futsal's diehard Brazilian fan Renan Fenerich to the heart and soul of the Maclean Bobcats, Grant Neilson, our pundits have all bases covered.

Can the Socceroos defeat France in the World Cup opener?

 

The Maclean Bobcats 2013 coach Giuseppe Terranova who prefers his football team to be like the engines he works on, finely tuned to perfection. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner
The Maclean Bobcats 2013 coach Giuseppe Terranova who prefers his football team to be like the engines he works on, finely tuned to perfection. Photo Debrah Novak / The Daily Examiner Debrah Novak

GIUSEPPE TERRANOVA: I think Australia can win. I think a lot of people underestimate what coaches can do. If you read the comments of the players you can see how they have changed. France are a good side, if they score early it might be a whitewash. If Australia can stun them, they can take something out of the game. Australia needs to be the team that scores first.

Cup winner: I would have said Spain or Germany, but after losing their coach I think Spain might suffer a bit. Germany are always hard to go past.

 

BALLA TRAORE   I support France, so I will try not to be biased. I see a few cracks in the armour and I know the Aussies can fight. They need to frustrate them.  Cup Tip: Argentina or Brazil
BALLA TRAORE I support France, so I will try not to be biased. I see a few cracks in the armour and I know the Aussies can fight. They need to frustrate them. Cup Tip: Argentina or Brazil Caitlan Charles

BALLA TRAORE: I actually support France, so I will try not to be biased. I see a few cracks in the armour and I know the Aussies are fighters. If they can hold out for half an hour and frustrate the French, and if they can then get that first goal it will make it very interesting. If the Aussies let the French get in their groove and score early it will be hard to stop the goals from flowing. It is all about the Aussies disrupting that.

Cup winner: I really want Argentina to take it for Messi, but I have a feeling Brazil will be too strong.

 

RENAN FENERICH I don't think Australia can win this one. France is the better team, they are experienced, and have more players playing at the top level. Cup Tip: Brazil
RENAN FENERICH I don't think Australia can win this one. France is the better team, they are experienced, and have more players playing at the top level. Cup Tip: Brazil Adam Hourigan

RENAN FENERICH: No, I do not think Australia can win this game. France is just the better team, they are more experienced at the top level. There is a lot of players in big European clubs and leagues. But that does not mean the Aussies won't win a game. It depends on how they can fit their game around Peru, they are not the hardest South American team to face. If they can pinch a draw against Peru and a win in the other game they could even get out of the Group stages.

Cup winner: I will have to go with Brazil. I think there is enough players who remember the 2014 semi-final and will want to rectify that.

 

GRANT NEILSON   I am hopeful that the Aussies can get a point. I have had a premonition that Matt Leckie will score for Australia and the score will be 1-1. Cup Tip: Belgium
GRANT NEILSON I am hopeful that the Aussies can get a point. I have had a premonition that Matt Leckie will score for Australia and the score will be 1-1. Cup Tip: Belgium

GRANT NEILSON: I am hopeful that the Aussies can get a point. I have had a premonition that Matt Leckie will score for Australia and it will end in a 1-1 draw. If we can get a point off France that will give us enough momentum to get out of the group. We're pretty close to the group of death.

Cup winner: I am a gambling man and I don't want to go the normal route, I am going for Belgium as a smoky. They have the talent, but it depends on if they end up like St George-Illawarra and choke when the whips really start cracking.



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