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World Cup Group C 2018 Preview: France heavy favourites to top the Group

Paul Pogba of France (credit: Getty Images)

World Cup 2018 Group C Preview. Can Peru or the Socceroos make things interesting in a tough group with France and Denmark or will we see European sides sail to the knockout stages?

Group C Fixtures 

Match 5
16 June 2018
10am BST
France v Australia 
Kazan' Arena, Kazan'

Match 6
16 June 2018
4pm BST
Peru v Denmark 
Mordovia Arena, Saransk

Match 21
21 June 2018
3pm BST
France v Peru
Stadion Central'nyj, Ekaterinburg

Match 22
21 June 2018
12pm BST
Denmark v Australia
Samara Arena, Samara

Match 37
26 June 2018
2pm BST
Denmark v France
Olimpiyskiy stadion Luzhniki, Moskva

Match 38
26 June 2018
2pm BST
Australia v Peru
Olimpiyskiy Stadion Fisht, Sochi


France have topped the European Qualifiers Group A four points in the clear, leaving both second-placed Sweden and third-placed Netherlands to battle for the Play-offs with rather convincing displays in the final rounds. They’ve shined on several occasions and the profoundly talented squad across positions comes off as one of the prime favourites to go far in the tournament.

They have struggled away from home on some occasions but Didier Deschamps’ men have shown character and really seem to have a great mixture of experience and young talent, very tough to shut down and outclass. Les Tricolores can be very satisfied with the draw and many predict they should sail to the knockout stages with no troubles.

Key man: Paul Pogba. While it’s not easy to pick out the star of the team with many taking the weight both defensively and offensively on different occasions, we’ve seen Pogba turn difficult matches their way on more than one occasion. He’s failed to impress at Man United at first but has stabilized his form since and together with Blaise Matuidi, to-be 25-year-old should be in charge of the midfield and taking the weight off an impressive attacking line.


Denmark have seen very rocky Qualifiers in Group E and only just secured the Play-offs, finishing five points behind convincing Poland after a solid spell of results in 2017. They’re now a place behind Peru in the Rankings and Age Hareide’s men have a lot to prove in Russia, after outclassing the Republic of Ireland in the second leg of their Play-offs clash. 

The Scandinavians lack the stars up front and have often relied on the midfield to do the job, led by Feyenoord’s Nicolai Jorgensen up front. With a rather unpredictable outfit, we don’t see the Danes going far and they’re up against a strong challenge for the second spot in Group C. They’ve improved defensively towards the end of the campaign, ultimately showing off as a nut too tough to crack for ‎the Boys in Green, but it’s more than obvious a lot will depend on their star man.

Key man: Christian Eriksen. After moving to Tottenham Hotspur from Ajax, Eriksen has been quick to impress but it does feel his peak only came with Spurs’ Runners-up campaign in 2016/17. He’s been a great influence on the side on and off the pitch but his individual efforts have often turned the games to the  Red-Whites’ favour, so we do feel a lot of their success in Russia will also depend on his form.


We’ve seen a thriller World Cup Qualifiers campaign in South America and Peru have enjoyed it the most, as they held both Argentina (0-0) and Colombia (1-1) to draws and secured the 5th spot on goal difference to the 6th placed Chile. They’ve impressed and kept their own against many tough sides in South America and will surely look to build on such a character on the Final tournament, after beating New Zealand in Intercontinental Play-offs (2-0 on aggregate).

La Blanquirroja have been especially challenging at the back and we’ve seen them concede just one goal in last four games in 2017, which will surely have all three sides on the lookout for deadly counterattacks through pacey wingers. Peru haven’t been on a Final tournament since 1982, though, and the lack of experience will surely be worrying as they’re dealt with a tough group but it’s fair to say there’s plenty of room for surprises.

Key man: Jefferson Farfan. We remember the veteran from his days at Schalke 04 and after a rather unsuccessful spell at Al Jazira where netted just four goals in two seasons, the winger moved to Lokomotiv Moskva. He’s impressed early in the 2017/18 season and if he can time his form for the tournament, he’ll surely be a key figure for Ricardo Gareca’s side moves forward. His experience and fine goalscoring form are bound to be the foundation of any success in Russia.


Australia have seen an underwhelming World Cup Qualifiers campaign in Asian Group B and with Japan and Saudi Arabia securing direct qualification, they’ve first narrowly beaten Group A’s Syria and then somewhat more convincingly Honduras over two games in Intercontinental Play-offs. They now come into the Group C as underdogs looking to cause an upset but making things interesting in Russia could come off as a tough task for them.

Socceroos have impressed on more than one occasion but such performances usually came in front of the home fans, which could be worrying ahead of the trip to the Final tournament. They’ve been struggling to regularly score numbers of goals and clean sheets have become a rarity for Matthew Ryan, but it’s far from being said Australians should be completely written off as they look to snatch the second spot.

Key man: Tim Cahill. The 38-year-old striker has proven himself as an irreplaceable key figure up front and his two goals against Syria have turned the contest their way in the Extra-time once again. Melbourne City’s man will be looking to time his form domestically and be ready to lead the attacking line in Russia, where his goals could prove crucial in their attempt to cause an upset. 

Group A betting tip

France surely come off as a dominant force at this point and if injuries don’t ravel their side, Les Tricolores should be very challenging to the end. Backing them to put on quality displays early in the competition and top the Group now looks banker material, with seemingly very little any of the three rivals can do to challenge the spot in a dream draw for the European giants. 

We do feel we’re in for a much tougher contest for the second ticket to the knockout stages and while many rate Denmark as the top candidate, they could have their hands full more than once. Peru have been rock-solid in the South American qualifiers and backing the side reaching the Final tournament for the first time since 1982 to also reach the knockout stages feels like more than just a  lively longshot at this point.

Denmark not to Qualify at 5/4 with BetVictor


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World Cup Group C 2018 Preview: France heavy favourites to top the Group

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