World Cup 2018: your guide to Group C

Christian Eriksen can ensure Denmark follow France into the knockout stages

Kylian Mbappe is a likely starter for France. Photograph:  Aurelien Meunier/Getty

Kylian Mbappe is a likely starter for France. Photograph: Aurelien Meunier/Getty

 

France - 13-2
Denmark - 100-1

Peru - 200-1
Australia - 500-1

The contenders

France are looking ominously good and undoubtedly the heavyweight outfit in Group B - the Les Bleus have legitimate hopes of winning the tournament providing Didier Deschamps can get the vast array of talent at his disposal working as one slick machine. A Christian Eriksen-inspired Denmark (let’s not go there) are second-favourites to progress while Peru will have their work cut out without banned captain Paulo Guerrero. Australia head into the tournament with new management and minimal expectations.

Road to Russia

France’s passage was not without incident - including 0-0 draws at home to Luxembourg and away to Belarus, and a 2-1 defeat in Sweden. Denmark qualified thanks to a that 5-1 play-off win over Ireland, while the Socceroos needed play-off wins over Syria and then Honduras. Peru finished fifth in South American qualifying before coming through a play-off against New Zealand.

World Cup pedigree

France were victorious on home soil in 1998, Les Bleus uniting a nation with victory over Brazil in the final. Denmark and Peru have both made it as far as the quarter-finals and Australia have reached the knockouts once in four attempts - cruelly being knocked out by eventual winners Italy in 2006.

Christian Eriksen is key to Denmark’s hopes of reaching the last-16. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty
Christian Eriksen is key to Denmark’s hopes of reaching the last-16. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty

The Managers

Deschamps guided France to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2014 and then the Euro 2016 final - this summer, however, feels like his acid test and a serious challenge is required. Age Hareide’s Denmark are reliant on Eriksen, but he has crafted a team who aren’t entirely a one-man band. Ricardo Gareca masterminded Peru’s first qualification for 36 years, while Bert van Marwijk took the ropes with Australia following the resignation of Ange Postecoglou, who stood down two weeks after securing qualification.

Star Power

France could prove a joy to behold and the electric Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe are primed for big summers. Denmark’s hopes making it through the group stages will rely on Eriksen, while Australia have decent midfield options - particularly Aaron Moy and Tom Rogic. Guerro’s ban for a failed drugs test - and ultimately doomed appeal - means Jefferson Farfan will shoulder the brunt of Peruvian hopes.

The verdict

France are the group’s standout team and should win it at a canter - expect an Eriksen-inspired Denmark to join them in the last 16.

Australia

View team profile
The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.