The 2018 defending World Cup champions came into this tournament with many doubters, and they shut the door on most of them through the group stage as they now head into the knockout stage full of confidence.
Les Bleus may have lost last time out against Tunisia, but they played almost all backups having already confirmed a knockout place by then and able to rotate the squad. Even still, the French probably should have had an equalizing goal had Antoine Griezmann not been called offside.
They face a Poland side that managed goals in just one of its three group games, with their two strikes both coming against Saudi Arabia. Head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz knows that his side has to improve if they are to have any chance against the World Cup title holders.
Michniewicz joked that he can only call in the players available to him, and it’s his job to get the best of them, but he’s not a miracle worker. “I can’t turn water into wine, although that might be useful right now,” he joked after the 0-0 draw with Mexico to begin group stage play.
MORE: Follow all 2022 FIFA World Cup daily picks & predictions from The Sporting News here
France vs. Poland odds
After topping Group D in emphatic fashion, aside from the B-team slump in the finale against Tunisia, France are big favorites here against a Poland side that has failed to impress so far. Additionally, Poland are thought unlikely to score as the “no” option on both teams to score sports a massive swing.
France are thought to be a big threat, however, as the over is a heavy favorite.
A reminder: All moneyline bets in soccer are for regulation only, regardless of competition. If the match requires a winner and goes to extra-time or penalties, a moneyline bet of a regulation draw is successful and the rest of play does not factor in.
to score Y / N
|+140 / -210||2.20 / 1.52||11/8, 8/15||5/4, 4/7|
|Over / Under
|-135 / +100||1.74 / 1.98||4/5, 10/11||8/11, 1/1|
|France -1.5||-135||1.85 / 1.89||—||—|
France vs. Poland: 3 things to know
France vs. Poland team news
France were walking wounded coming into the tournament, with the likes of Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku sent home from the preliminary squad and replaced by younger talent. Marcus Thuram is a possible doubt due to illness, while Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Mike Maignan and Lucas Hernandez have all been forced off the roster.
Poland are mostly fit, but there’s a slight injury issue for defender Bartek Bereszynski, an important player who is sitting on 49 international caps. He started and played 72 minutes for Poland the last time out, which suggests he’s nearly worked his way back to full fitness. That’s the only known injury concern for the Poles.
MORE: Full injury tracker for all 32 teams at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
France vs. Poland key stats
- Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has made the most saves of anyone at the World Cup with 19, including nine in the first half against Argentina, a record for most saves in a half in World Cup history.
- France striker Olivier Giroud needs just one goal to move alone atop the France all-time leading goalscorers list. Giroud has 51 goals, even with the legendary Thierry Henry for most in a Bleus shirt. One more, and the record is his to keep, until someone else comes along. That someone else could be Kylian Mbappe, who already has 31 international goals at just 23, good for seventh on the all-time list, tied with Zinedine Zidane.
- These two sides have met 16 times, with Poland winning just three times and managing five draws. Poland are on a seven-match winless run against France dating back to a 4-0 friendly win in 1982.
France vs. Poland match facts
- Date: Sunday, December 4
- Kickoff Time: 10:00 am ET / 3:00 pm GMT / 2:00 am AEDT (Mon, Dec. 5)
- Location: Al Thumama Stadium
- Official: TBD
France vs. Poland prediction
- Moneyline lean: France (-375)
- Against the spread lean: France -1.5 (-135)
- Score prediction: France 3-0 Poland
Wojciech Szczesny is of course the X-factor here, as he kept Poland alive longer than expected against Argentina. Yet even he was unable to prevent the South American side from bagging a pair, and this France side should run Poland ragged with their extremely quick nature. As far as Round of 16 participants go, Poland do not look the part, and this should not be a trouble for Les Bleus.
Wojciech Szczęsny. That’s it. That’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/8W2b5s76D3
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 30, 2022
France vs. Poland: best bet
- Pick: France to win & over 2.5 goals
- Odds: -105 (BetMGM)
France should come away from this match without any issues, and there should be goals in the match. Poland are incredibly defensive, but France like to play a fast-paced game that should draw their fellow Europeans out of their shell.
It’s tough to trust Poland to score as well, but it’s possible they could get on the scoresheet here against a France defense that is occasionally left vulnerable by their high-energy style of play. France have kept just once clean sheet in their last 13 matches outside their own borders, and for that reason I thought hard about France to win and both to score at +250.
In the end, however, I just can’t trust Poland to find the back of the net. Robert Lewandowski looked extremely isolated up front throughout the group stages, and their goalscoring problems go further back than just the World Cup. In the end, I trust either Poland to find a goal and push France, or Les Bleus to do the job themselves. In either case, the over should hit.
France vs. Poland prop bet
- Pick: France under 1.5 cards
- Odds: TBD (FanDuel)
Disciplinary odds are often not released until 24-48 hours before the match begins, as bookmakers wish to see the referee assignments before setting these odds.
France have been utterly spectacular from a disciplinary perspective this World Cup, earning just a single yellow card while conceding just 15 fouls, by far the fewest of anyone in the tournament. Poland aren’t exactly adept at drawing cards either, seeing their opponents cautioned five times across the three group stage matches, an interestingly low number given how physical the likes of Mexico and Saudi Arabia proved to be.
We’ll need to wait and see how the odds affect these selections, but even picking France to end with under 0.5 cards feels a decent choice.
France vs. Poland prop bet
- Pick: Half with most goals — 2H
- Odds: -110 (BetMGM)
Poland have yet to concede in the opening half of a match this World Cup, while France have gone to halftime scoreless in two of their three matches. This has been a no-brainer all tournament, and it’s a clear pick here as well.
France vs. Poland prop bet
- Pick: Giroud to score & France to win
- Odds: +140 (BetMGM)
While Karim Benzema is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world, France have looked much better with a target man like Olivier Giroud up front who can help with hold-up play, flick teammates on, and finish chances. When in the lineup, he’s a focal point up front, and while Kylian Mbappe is a goal machine as well, Giroud should have enough chances here to provide one himself to reach his milestone. Giroud has 15 goals in his last 21 starts for France, and this should be no different.
France vs. Poland live stream, TV channel
This Round of 16 match will be played at the Al Thumama Stadium. Here’s how you can watch all the action in some of the major global territories.
|USA||Sun, Dec. 4||10:00 ET||FS1,
Fox Sports site/app,
Telemundo Deportes site/app,
|Canada||Sun, Dec. 4||10:00 ET||TSN 3/4, CTV, RDS (French)||TSN site/app, CTV app,
|UK||Sun, Dec. 4||15:00 GMT||ITV, STV||ITVX, STV Player|
|Australia||Mon, Dec. 5||02:00 AEDT||SBS||SBS On Demand|
|India||Sun, Dec. 4||20:30 IST||Sports18||Voot, JioTV|
|Hong Kong||Sun, Dec. 4||23:00 HKT||Now TV (Ch. 616, 618)||Now TV|
|Malaysia||Sun, Dec. 4||23:00 MYT||Astro FIFA World Cup 1||Astro GO|
|Singapore||Sun, Dec. 4||23:00 SGT||StarHub FIFA World Cup,
Singtel FIFA World Cup 141
|Singtel TV GO, CAST,
StarHub TV+, MeWatch
|New Zealand||Mon, Dec. 5||04:00 NZDT||Sky Sport 7 beIN Sports||Sky Go, Sky Sport NOW|