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Sport Pressure on Paul Pogba ahead of World Cup clash, says Socceroo Massimo Luongo

14:54  12 june  2018
14:54  12 june  2018 Source:   goal.com

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Nigeria landed in Russia on Monday night ahead of their 2018 Fifa World Cup opener against Croatia on Saturday. Six days later, they face debutants Iceland in Volgograd before their clash with Argentina on June 26 in Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg.

Paul Pogba standing in front of a crowd© Provided by Goal.com France's stars will be expected to shine against Australia and that could work to the Socceroos favour

Australian midfielder Massimo Luongo has put the emphasis on France's star midfielder Paul Pogba ahead of the Socceroos World Cup opener against the French.

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The Manchster United player has been a mercurial figure for France with plenty expected of him and a mixed view on how he performs for the national team.

Luongo will be looking to line-up against Pogba when their two countries meet in Kazan, with the Australian midfielder admitting the eyes and the pressure will always be on the Frenchman.

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  World Cup: France will be a huge test for the Socceroos, but it's an exciting challenge <p>This is the biggest tournament in the world and hopefully, it's another great tournament. Good luck boys!</p>New coach, lots of new faces, how will the team go? I was personally upset to see Ange leave at first — having an Aussie coach appealed to me.

Assistant coach Mark van Bommel said the day before the game that preparation form does not always translate into the World Cup proper and the Sloppy passes enabled Hungary to pressure the Socceroos , and they created enough chances to score with Massimo Luongo and Josh Risdon both

Massimo Luongo says the Socceroos are going to make mistakes as they adjust to Bert van Marwijk’s footballing philosophy and believes the performance, not Australia not ready for World Cup , says van Marwijk.

“His price tag says how good of a player he is, the pressure is always on him because of how much he costs," Luongo said.

"Maybe he’s not doing enough, but as a midfielder, if a lot of midfielders can do half the things he does, then I think they’re a pretty good player.

"A lot of eyes will be on him, I think he’s capable of doing something special."

The Socceroos aren't fancied of causing an upset when they take on the Les Bleus but should be buoyed by the fact France were held to a recent 1-1 draw with the USA.

As a result, Luongo believes Australia should back themselves to take the French down.

"At this level, everyone is even, the win is there for the taking,” he said.

"Individually, yeah, they’ve got some big, world class players especially in midfield.

"As I said, we’ve been working on a way to play as a team and the manager’s experience is doing it with a really good team, not individuals.

"It’s up for the taking… we’ve got to make sure we’re on, more than 100% because of their individual talents."

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Following the example of Paul the octopus, Achilles the cat is going to try his best.Achilles, the resident cat of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, has been officially chosen as an oracle for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which kicks off Thursday.

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