World Cup - Key battle: Paul Pogba vs Wilson Palacios

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France face Honduras tonight in their first ever meeting and a key battle in midfield could go a long way to deciding the outcome of the game.

France come into the World Cup looking to make amends for their terrible performance four years ago as they crashed out of the group stages without winning a game in South Africa.

Manager Didier Deschamps has picked a younger looking side this time around and there are real hopes that Les Bleus can progress into the latter stages of the tournament.

One of the young stars ready to make an impact on the largest stage is the former Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

The Juventus man played a key role in the Old Lady's Serie A win last season and will now look to help France win their opening game at a World Cup for the first time since 1998.

The 21-year-old will come up against the tough tackling Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios and the winner of that battle will influence how their side performs.

Palacios is heading to his second successive World Cup with La Bicolor but they will need to be at their best to get out of a competitive Group E alongside Ecuador and Switzerland as well as France.

Both Pogba and Palacios are powerful midfielders that will look to get a foothold on the game tonight and whoever comes out on top will likely see his side succeed in their tournament opener.

  TeamPosAppsGoalsBig Chance CreatedWon Tackle / appsAerial Won / appsInterception / appsMins
Paul Pogba Juventus MF 36 7 48 1.75 2.17 1.00 3,068
Wilson Palacios Stoke MF 16 0 2 1.31 0.38 0.75 519

The former Spurs midfielder played 20 games less than Pogba last season but he was outperformed in every area nonetheless.

The Frenchman scored seven goals and created 48 chances for his teammates last year, an excellent return for a player who plays relatively deep in midfield.

He also came out on top defensively when compared to Palacios, as he won more tackles and headers per game, making more interceptions as well.

The 29-year-old Honduran looks set to have his work cut out against the talented youngster in tonight's clash, and if Pogba wins the battle, his French team will have a fantastic chance against their aggressive opposition.

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