After winning their first 2022 FIFA World Cup game, France has answered a lot of questions that skeptics have been asking with each new headline featuring another French superstar out due to injury.

With their dominant win over Australia, the match offers some telling details about the defending World Cup champs.

1. Injuries, so far, are a non-issue

With France’s roster peppered with big names out due to injury–Kante, Benzema, Pogba, Verane, and now Lucas Hernandez, fans were worried about how Les Bleus would perform in their opener against Australia.

However, while Australia drew first blood off a great counter from Craig Goodwin, the French found their form, equalizing off a header from Rabiot and then five minutes later taking the lead off of Oliver Giroud’s right boot.

Mbappe would score his first of the tournament in the 68th minute, and Giroud would knock his second of the night in the 71st minute. If France makes it deep into December, they will feel the absences of many of their first-team players.

If France makes it deep into December, they will feel the absences of many of their first-team players.

2. Goals can come from anywhere

The first half alone saw multiple chances from both sides of the pitch. Ousmane Dembele has been crucial for Barcelona this season and has dominated the right flank with his speed and vision, making cut-back passes that Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Oliver Giroud have been devouring.

Meanwhile, on the left, Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot has been making the most of the attacking triangle with himself, Griezmann, and Mbappe, with Rabiot netting France’s first goal of the tournament and an assist.

3. They take a moment to get going

France conceded a goal and simultaneously lost Lucas Hernandez to an injury within the first ten minutes. But found their attacking rhythm once the team got a little more settled.

Whether or not their clunky start was just nerves or getting used to the climate, either way, toward the later stages of the tournament, they may not get as many opportunities to correct any mistakes made in the match’s opening minutes.

4. They can be vulnerable against counters

Any team with an attacking mindset is vulnerable to counters, but more so when their defense plays a higher line like France and has as many defensive players out from injury.

They must be mindful moving forward, especially when playing intense teams like Tunisia, who played with abandon against Denmark this morning.

France is set to play Denmark Saturday (11 am ET) at Stadium 974. Australia will play Tunisia Saturday (5 am ET) at Al Janoub Stadium.

About Mike Gawdzik

A fan of the Red Devils and White Sox, Mike Gawdzik is a high school English teacher by day and a writer by night. He tries to write what he knows, like when he was a drag queen for a day or when he competed in an amateur boxing tournament in South Korea. When reading student essays isn’t enough for him, he’s also the creative nonfiction editor for Flying Island and Sport Literate.