World Cup 2018: Group C preview
World Cup Group C will be a very interesting group to watch.
France are one of the favourites to win the tournament this summer as they have tonnes of talent within their side.
Didier Deschamps’ side will be hoping to make up for their gutting loss in the final of Euro 2016 against Portugal by winning the World Cup in Russia.
How will Les Bleus fare in Russia?
Winners in 1998, France have been an odd side to watch at the World Cup finals since their victory, crashing out in the group stage in 2002 and 2010, whilst losing the 2006 final and most recently, exiting at the quarter final stage in 2014.
Alongside the French, Australia will be competing at their 4th World Cup finals in a row.
Australia’s best result at a World Cup was in 2006, when they reached the last 16 before losing to eventual winners, Italy, thanks to a 90+5 minute penalty from Francesco Totti.
Australia will fancy their chances of qualifying from the group but will face tough competition from Peru and Denmark.
Peru return to the World Cup!
Peru are appearing at their first World Cup since 1982, a massive achievement for the national side.
The Peruvians reached the quarter finals in 1970, losing to a Brazil side that is known to be the greatest ever.
Denmark secured their spot in Russia after defeating The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs.
Whilst Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar will be the most watched players at the tournament, fans from across the globe will be hoping to catch a glimpse of Lord Nicklas Bendtner in action on the world stage.
Below is a team by team guide to World Cup 2018 Group C.
France have one of the best squads in international football containing attacking options that would be suitable for any team in the world.
Despite their disappointing loss on home soil at Euro 2016, France will enter the tournaments as one of the favourites and shouldn’t struggle to win the group comfortably.
France qualified for the World Cup ahead of Sweden and Holland but surprisingly, scored just 18 goals in the process.
Deschamps prefers to start with Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud up top but due to his lack of playing time this season, he could struggle to make the squad let alone the starting line up.
Alexandre Lacazette’s place in the squad is also in jeopardy after struggling with the Gunners.
France’s attacking options are brilliant with players such as Ousmane Dembele, Kinglsey Coman and Dimitri Payet all not certain of a place in France’s squad.
The French defence will be protected by the likes of N’Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi and Paul Pogba but Raphael Varane and Co. shouldn’t need too much help anyway.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris could be seen as a liability and despite making plenty of fantastic saves, he is prone to making big errors.
France’s key men
Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid) & Paul Pogba (Man United).
There are so many players to choose from, but Kylian Mbappe must be seen as France’s biggest threat.
The teenager is playing tremendously well for PSG this season.
Mbappe is very skilful, unselfish and will be extremely keen to add to his first international goal which he scored against Holland in qualification for the tournament.
Griezmann finished as top scorer at Euro 2016 and was France’s top scorer in qualification with 4 goals, alongside Olivier Giroud.
Paul Pogba has been Manchester United’s stand out player this season but amidst rumours about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, French fans will hope that all is well with Deschamps in Russia.
Australia will be at the World Cup finals for the 5th time in the country’s history.
The Socceroos struggled at the 2014 World Cup, crashing out in the group stage after losing to Holland, Chile and Spain.
It may seem that former Everton man Tim Cahill is around 50 years old but the Aussie forward was instrumental in Australia’s qualification process, scoring 11 goals.
There are many Australians playing in the Premier League including Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy and Brighton’s goalkeeper Matthew Ryan.
This team looks well-equipped to be the first Australia side to qualify from the group stage since 2006.
Australia’s key men
Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Tim Cahill (unattached) & Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield)
Jedinak’s hat trick against Honduras in the play-offs secured Australia’s place at Russia 2018.
Aaron Mooy has been Huddersfield’s stand out performer this season and the ex-Manchester City man scored against Manchester United in Huddersfield’s famous 2-1 win over the Red Devils earlier this season.
Tim Cahill, at 38, is still in with a chance to play at this summer’s tournament and Australia’s greatest ever goal scorer could bow out of professional football at the World Cup.
Peru qualified for the World Cup after defeating New Zealand in the play-offs.
Paolo Guerrero scored the crucial equaliser against Colombia that secured Peru’s place in the inter continental play-offs.
The game was seen as extremely controversial as both sides knew before kick off that 1-1 draw would see Colombia qualify for the tournament and send Peru to the play-offs ahead of Chile.
Peru have a bunch of players in the MLS.
The result concluded that Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal would not be appearing in Russia this summer.
Orlando City’s Yoshimar Yotun has over 70 caps of his country and Yordy Reyna of Vancouver Whitecaps has broken into the national side in recent years.
Peru’s key men
Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo), Andre Carrillo (Watford) & Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow)
Guerrero isn’t just the man who sent Peru to the play-offs, he is also the national captain who plays a pivotal role in the midfield.
Andre Carrillo (pictured above playing for Benfica) has not been so prolific during his loan spell at Watford but is capable of causing trouble in the final third due to his agility and pace.
Ex Schalke winger Jefferson Farfan scored the other goal in Peru’s 2-0 win over New Zealand which sealed qualification to the World Cup.
The 33 year old is still just as pacey and skilful as he was when he was playing in the Bundesliga.
Denmark qualified for Russia after defeating The Republic of Ireland in the play-offs.
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen was Denmark’s most important player throughout qualification and scored 8 goals in the 10 qualifying matches.
Denmark have never progressed past the quarter finals of the World Cup but will fancy their chances of at least, qualifying from the group in Russia.
The 1992 European Champions will be competing at their 5th World Cup finals, their last appearance in 2010 ended in an early group stage exit despite beating Cameroon.
Denmark’s key men
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City) & Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg)
Christian Eriksen may be Tottenham’s assist master but the 25 year old has been in the Danish squad for 8 years now, scoring 21 goals for his country.
Eriksen was Denmark’s stand out player in qualification and will surely replicate his form in Russia.
Peter Schmeichel won the 1992 European Championship with Denmark and now his Premier League winning son, Kasper, has the chance to perform on the global stage.
Nicklas Bendtner may be one of the most ridiculed players in football history but is Denmark’s current top scorer with 30 goals. the Group C results!
France 3-0 Australia
Peru 1-1 Denmark
France 4-1 Peru
Denmark 1-1 Australia
Denmark 1-3 France
Australia 1-1 Peru
France will surely top the group quite comfortably and we expect them to beat all of their opponents in Group C.
The battle for second will surely be a close one and in fact, we expect the three remaining teams to be tied on points at the end.
However, if our score predictions are correct, Denmark will qualify on goal difference but it is extremely tough to call.