Some are enthusiastically tipping France to be at the top of Group C following that stage of the 2018 FIF World Cup tournament beginning next month is Russia.
They have plenty and talent to accompany the stamina of youth, with players such as Paul Pogba, Kylina Mbappe and Antione Griezmann on the squad.
Denmark would seem to be the most serious threat to Les Bleus. Playmaker Christian Eriksen normally plays his trade with Totttenham and he could pose a threat, so he will be much marked by the French.
For your morning dose of optimism, some observers with expertise far greater than ours are mentioning that Tim Cahill and the Socceroos could be capable of defying the odds. You can use that optimism in the afternoon or evening, as you so choose. Our survey of the books shows that the Socceroos have shortened from $19 to $13 as the tournament draws closer, but France is carrying Winx-like odds, while the probability of a draw has lengthened.
The fixture in Group C is not a kind one for Australia. After facing France, they get Denmark five days later. By the time they meet Peru, with or without, most likely without, Paolo Guerrero, the Aussies may be playing for the exercise.
For the Socceroos, it seems like one of those scenarios where other teams may decide their fate, or at least play a prominent role.
If you are looking for a guide outside what the bookies offer, EA Sports have released their FIFA 18 World Cup edition player cards, giving Aaron Mooy and Mat Ryan identical 76 ratings.
Tim Cahill, on whom the Socceroos hopes may ultimately rest, due to his seeming uncanny ability to do what has to be done at the most opportune moment, received a 70 for EA Sports.
In our younger days as card collectors, we were in it mostly for the bubble gum and that wondrous smell still lingers in the memories of our olfactory sense.