France v Honduras preview – Former United youngster set to star

Paul Pogba 2

France will be looking to stamp their authority on Group E by beating Honduras on Sunday.

To be played on Sunday 15th June 2014 at 20:00. Venue: Estadio Beira-Rio, Porto Alegre.

Odds: France 30/100, Draw 100/30, Honduras 10/1

Preview & injury news

Olivier Giroud has impressed in the build-up for manager Didier Deschamps and the Arsenal striker could start up front in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena.

For Honduras, forward Carlo Costly resumed training after a scare on Thursday and he could be partnered in attack by New England Revolution’s Jerry Bengtson.

Defender Bryan Beckeles should also retain a starting position, even though his dismissal against England last week almost jeopardised the team’s chances.

Key stats

1) This will be the first meeting between the two countries.

2) Since 1998, France have not scored in their opening game of a World Cup.

3) Honduras have not scored in their last four World Cup matches.

Five players to watch

Paul Pogba - The former Manchester United midfielder has become an integral part of Juventus' Serie A success over the past two years and has developed into a true all-round midfielder.

Marvin Chavez - The Honduras left-winger is quick and will cause the French defence problems. He is likely to be their outlet in attack. 

Karim Benzema - The Real Madrid striker has been in great form for his club recently, scoring 25 goals in all competitions in the 2013-14 season. He will be looking to transfer that form to his national team.

Emilio Izaguirre - The Celtic left-back is another fast player who will need to be on top form to keep Valbuena quiet on France's right. He will look to help Chavez going forward when he can

Raphael Varane - The 21-year-old Madrid defender is likely to partner Laurent Koscielny in France's defence and will look to show the world why he is seen as a future great centre-back.

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