France vs UkraineWorld Cup, KO: 19:45 Mar 24, 2021, Stade de France
FRANCE start their defence of the World Cup they won with such attacking aplomb in 2018 when they welcome Ukraine to Paris for their opening qualifier.
Didier Deschamps' side retain the vast majority of that squad who triumphed in Russia – 15 of the 23-man squad were at the tournament – and they will of course be one of the favourites again in Qatar.
They face a talented, but unpredictable Ukraine side who went from the high of comfortably winning their Euro 2020 group with Portgual in it to a disastrous last Nations League campaign.
Added into the mix is a 7-1 hammering by France of Ukraine in October – the worst ever defeat by Ukraine in their history. Whether that friendly will have any impact is a quandary for punters.
And while Les Blues are extremely unlikely to repeat such a thumping, they are expected to get off to a good start at the Stade de France.
How the bookies view it
France are warm 2/7 favourites with Tonybet, while the former Soviet nation can be backed at 11/1 with Hill's. The draw is available at 19/4 with Mansionbet.
Recent head to heads
The nations have met ten times and Ukraine have only won once in a 2013 World Cup qualifier in Kiev. As stated, France trounced Ukraine 7-1 in Paris last year.
Players to watch
All eyes will be on France's talisman, Kylian Mbappe, who has grabbed a double in three out of his last five games. He looks too tempting to turn down at 9/10 with Unibet to score anytime.
Ukraine's top scorer is West Ham's Andriy Yarmolenko, but he's only just returned to training after a knee injury. Gent striker Roman Yaremchuk has been in great form in Belgian football and has six international goals in 19 starts. He's 6/1 with Paddy Power to score.
Anything else catch the eye?
Ukraine are in a truly woeful run of form, with six defeats and one win in their last seven games, although one of them was a 3-0 walkover defeat awarded to Switzerland in the last Nations League.
But they were superb in their last qualifiers and it's a question of which Ukraine will turn up for Andriy Shevchenko.
France have a talented, settled squad and it's pretty inconceivable they won't get off to a good start in style.
They are prone to losing goals though – they have conceded in five of their last seven games including an absolute shocker when they managed to lose 2-0 at home to Finland in a November friendly.
That makes the France to win and both teams to score price at 5/2 with Paddy Power a real option.
And while, they might not make it to seven goals this time, France to score over 2.5 goals at 6/4 with 888Sport has a chance.
This World Cup match between France and Ukraine will be played on Mar 24, 2021 and kick off at 19:45. Check below for our tipsters best France vs Ukraine prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.