Antoine Griezmann Paul Pogba France
The dynamic duo Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba will be seen in action for FranceReuters

France will have a hard time forgetting their Euro 2016 defeat to Portugal at their own turf a few months back. The past though cannot be rectified, but what can be, is the future, with a better preparation at the moment.

2018 Fifa World Cup remains the next target for Les Blues now. Didier Deschamps' side take on Sweden on Friday in their World Cup qualifier from the UEFA confederation. Both sides occupy the top positions in the six-team Group A in the competition. They have the equal record thus far in the tournament – same points, same goal difference and the same wins-losses-draws record.

None of them has suffered a defeat, too, so far.

For Manchester United fans hoping to see a clash between Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, we have a bad news. While Pogba is available for the match, Zlatan is not, as the mercurial striker retired from national duties following his team's ouster from Euro 2016. 

France look the stronger team on paper by all means as they boast of high-profile names like Dimitri Payet, Hugo Lloris, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny, N'Golo Kanté and Real Madrid's Raphael Varane.

Sweden might not boast of having so many star players but they do have key players in Ola Toivonen, Oscar Hiljemark, John Guidetti and Victor Lindelof. Yes, we do understand the absence of Zlatan does take away the sheen from the away side, but hey, in sports, you have to keep evolving, isn't it?

Expected starting XI

France: Lloris; Sidibe, Varane, Koscielny, Digne; Pogba, Matuidi; Sissoko, Griezmann, Payet; Gameiro.

Sweden: Olsen; Krafth, Lindelof, Granqvist, Wendt; Durmaz, Hiljemark, Ekdal, Forsberg; Guidetti, Toivonen.

Schedule

France vs Sweden is set for 7:45 p.m. GMT (2:45 p.m. ET, 1:15 a.m. IST [Saturday]) kick off on November 11.

Where to watch live

India: TV - Sony ESPN. Live streaming - SonyLiv

UK: TV - Sky Sports 3/HD, Now TV. Live streaming - Sky Go

USA: TV - ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes. Live streaming - Watch ESPN

France: TV - TF1

Brazil: TV - Kanal 5. Live streaming - Dplay

Live score: Twitter

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