By Niall Clarke

  • Group C Preview and predictions
  • France, Australia, Peru, Denmark
MOSCOW, RUSSIA – In the build up to the World Cup, Britwatch Sports will look at every group and give our predictions on who will finish where. Today we look at Group C which features France, Australia, Peru and Denmark

 

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Fixtures

June 16th: France vs Australia (11:00)
June 16th: Peru vs Denmark (17:00)
June 21st: Denmark vs Australia (13:00)
June 21st: France vs Peru (16:00)
June 26th: Denmark vs France (15:00)
June 26th: Australia vs Peru (15:00)

 

France

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Fifa World Ranking: 7

World Cup Appearance: 15th

Previous Best: Winners (1998)

2014: Quarter Finals

Qualifying: First in UEFA Group A

French football may be sitting on their Golden generation at the moment. With a wide selection of top class players to choose from, this young and talented squad have the potential to go all the way, 20 years after winning on home soil.

Rest assure this will not be the last you see of this French squad. The majority have another World Cup or two left in them with the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele destined to become superstars in the near future, but there are some of them that will see this as their greatest chance to win the most prestigious trophy in football. Whilst the future looks bright for many, players like Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud and Hugo Lloris are in their prime right now. In truth, France should steam-roll this group easily and from there go deep into the competition where their mentality will be tested.

Prediction: First Place

 

Australia

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Fifa World Ranking: 36

World Cup Appearance: 5th

Previous Best: Round of 16 (2006)

2014: Group Stage

Qualifying: Third in Asia Group B (Won a playoff against Syria)

Australia come into World Cup 2018 as a lesser side than they have been in tournaments over the past 10 or so years. This year they will likely be the team that finishes bottom of the group, but they can play spoiler for one of the other nations.

It may be little, but there is some quality in this Australia team. Aaron Mooy has been excellent in Huddersfield’s midfield this season and Tim Cahill remains a dangerous threat in this side even though he is way past his best and currently without a club. Even saying that, there is not much hope for them to progress because the other three teams just have more quality in their ranks. Mathew Ryan is a good hand in net but going forward the Socceroos do not offer enough to get past the other nations.

Prediction: Fourth Place

 

Peru

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Fifa World Ranking: 11

World Cup Appearance: 5th

Previous Best: Quarter Finals (1970)

2014: Did not qualify

Qualifying: Fifth in South America (Beat New Zealand in a playoff)

It will be an emotional World Cup for Peru. They are returning to the competition for the first time since 1982 making this a moment to savour for the nation. Add on top of this the return of their captain Paolo Guerrero who has had his drugs ban frozen, this might be one of the more emotionally charged teams in Russia.

They are no push overs too. To come through South American qualifying is some achievement as it is possibly the hardest qualifying region to come out of. Add to that their 13 match unbeaten run, this is a side with cohesion and quality. Their progression will likely be down to their match with Denmark which is very much a case of individuals vs a team and in tournaments cohesion is an under-rated quality.

Prediction: Second Place

 

Denmark

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Fifa World Ranking: 12

World Cup Appearance: 5th

Previous Best: Quarter Finals (1996)

2014: Did not qualify

Qualifying: Second in UEFA Group E (Won playoff against Ireland)

The Danes are back on the big stage after missing four of the last six major tournaments and have a good chance of progressing to the round of 16 in one of the weaker groups, but going beyond that will be a serious ask..

This is a side that possesses Christian Eriksen in their ranks, and it will be his performances that could ultimately be the difference between them making it through this group or crashing out. If the Spurs midfielder can run the midfield against Peru, then Denmark should progress but a lack of a true goalscorer may end up being their undoing. There are some other Premier League talents to look out for such as Andreas Christensen and Kasper Schmeichel and they will play some stylish football. It just may not be enough in the end.

Prediction: Third Place

The XXI FIFA World Cup Starts on June 14, as Russia host Saudi Arabia in the tournament’s curtain-raiser in Moscow at 4pm UK time.

 

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