Billy Cundall is expecting Denmark to fall short to France and help Australia to scrape through the round of 16 for just the second time in their history on Tuesday night.
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Scenario: Leaders France are already through but will want to beat Denmark on Tuesday to take top spot in style, although a draw would also keep them clear. Australia need to beat bottom side Peru and hope Denmark lose to France, and also need at least a two-goal swing in their favour.
- France 2-0 Denmark
- Australia 2-1 Peru
Denmark v France (1500 BST - ITV)
Despite France already securing qualification, there is still a lot to play for in Group C. Denmark will face Deschamp’s men which could see the Danes top the group, or conversely see them crash out of the tournament.
France came into the tournament full of promise; pace, power, depth were all in abundance, yet something seems to be missing. The likes of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Thomas Lemar and Antoine Grizemann paint a star-studded picture, but it took France to turn to the less glamorous but arguably more effective Olivier Giroud in order to get the job done.
The Chelsea striker is usually heavily influential in France’s goal scoring trends, demonstrated by the fact that since March 2017 Giroud has been involved in more goals than any other player (11). He's 6/1 to be named FIFA Man of the Match which is worth considering even if his modus operandi doesn't always catch the eye.
Denmark haven’t been overly convincing themselves. A less than resounding win over a Peru side who deserved more papered over the cracks of a team overly reliant on Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, whose subsequent goal against Australia was one of the best of the tournament so far.
With neither team bagging goals relentlessly, another low-scoring game certainly looks likely one way or another. France may be less inclined to settle for a draw and backing them to win a low-scoring game is the way to go.
Prediction: Denmark 0-2 France (Sky Bet odds: 8/1)
Best Bet: France to win and under 2.5 goals at 3/1
- Denmark and France have met twice in the World Cup, both in the final of game of the group stages – France won 2-1 in 1998 and Denmark won 2-0 in 2002.
- Denmark and France are meeting at a sixth major tournament after Euro 1984, Euro 1992, World Cup 1998, Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002. France went on to win three of those five previous tournaments.
- France have won six of their last seven games against Denmark (L1), with the only defeat in that run coming in the 2002 World Cup.
- Olivier Giroud has scored each of France’s last three goals against the Danes, most recently a brace in a 2-1 victory in October 2015.
- Denmark have lost four of their last five World Cup games against fellow European nations, with the exception in that run being a 2-0 win against France in 2002.
- If Denmark are awarded a penalty in this match, it will be the first time since Group C in 1998 that all four teams have had a penalty in a single World Cup group – that group also contained France and Denmark.
- France have only won all three of their group stage games at a World Cup finals once before, back in 1998 when they went on to win the tournament. Their third win in that edition also came against Denmark.
- Since his debut for the national side in March 2017, only Olivier Giroud (11) has been involved in more goals for France than teenager Kylian Mbappé (10; 5 goals, 5 assists).
- Denmark’s Christian Eriksen has scored 17 goals in his last 20 appearances for the national side.
- France’s Kylian Mbappé could become the first teenager to score in more than one World Cup match since England’s Michael Owen did so in 1998.
Australia v Peru (1500 BST - ITV4)
In arguably the biggest game of Australia’s recent history, a win over Peru could see them through to the round of 16 for only the second time. They need to dispatch Peru whilst hoping France beat Denmark in order to qualify, despite picking up just one point thus far. The group is tight and because of their draw in the previous game, Australia and Denmark will have to look at deeper permutations in order to progress.
Because of the close nature of the group, Australia will enter this make-or-break fixture knowing they need goals to trump Denmark on goal difference. Peru have performed valiantly and may have given all they can in the previous two trying to qualify. Perhaps Australia on the handicap at 11/2 (-1) will tempt some, although there must be concerns around their attacking capabilities.
Despite having nothing tangible to play for, Peru will be desperate to score their first goal of the tournament, and considering Australia haven’t kept a clean sheet yet the 5/1 that they win a game in which both teams score is another plausible option in a game where strong fancies are hard to come by.
Peru captain Jose Paolo Guerrero, 37, is surely participating in his last World Cup game and will be desperate to mark it with a goal. The Flamengo striker will likely burst out of the traps and is a decent option at 13/2 to score first.
Mile Jedinak has been Australia’s standout player so far, with the Aston Villa midfielder scoring both of their goals, and the Aussie captain will be pivotal if his team are to raise their game and collect their first victory in Russia.
Jedinak’s performance, and possibly another penalty opportunity, means that he could be heavily involved once more and he's closely considered in all markets, chiefly Man of the Match at 10/1.
Prediction: Australia 2-1 Peru (Sky Bet odds: 11/1)
Best Bet: Mile Jedinak Man of the Match at 10/1
- This will be the first ever encounter between Australia and Peru.
- Australia have picked up just one point and scored just one goal against South American teams in World Cup group stages (three games in total).
- Peru will be facing a side from Oceania for the first time in a World Cup finals, however they faced New Zealand in a qualification play-off to get to this stage – winning 2-0 over two legs.
- Australia have kept just one clean sheet in their 15 previous World Cup games (0-0 vs Chile in 1974), conceding at least once in each of their last 12 matches.
- Australia’s last three World Cup goals have all come from the penalty spot. No side has ever scored four consecutive goals from spot-kicks in the competition’s history (excluding shootouts).
- Peru are winless in their last eight World Cup matches (D2 L6), failing to score in six of those games.
- Australia have lost four of their last five World Cup matches, with their draw against Denmark last time out ending a run of four straight defeats.
- Peru have had 27 shots so far at this World Cup, but are yet to score a single goal.
- Mile Jedinak has scored both of Australia’s goals so far in the 2018 World Cup. No Australian has ever scored more in a single edition before (Tim Cahill two in 2006 and 2014, Brett Holman two in 2010).
Posted at 1300 BST on 25/06/18.
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