2018 FIFA World Cup: Day Eight

With the World Cup firmly in the second round of group games, we already know who is set to qualify and who is on early plane home. 

Day Eight sees Group C take centre stage as Denmark and France aim to book their places in the last 16. Group D meanwhile sees Argentina meet Croatia in a pivotal game for their qualification hopes. 

Denmark v Australia

Can Christian Eriksen guide Denmark to last 16?

Denmark know that a win here will see them through to last 16, should France get at least a point in their game against Peru.

Australia meanwhile just have to go for it and show the same determination as they did against Les Bleus on Saturday.

These teams have met before on three occasions for friendlies with Denmark taking two wins to Australia’s one. 

The Aussies have are unbeaten in just two of their nine World Cup games against European opposition (W1, D1, L7) but Denmark will be a really good match to try and win.

Denmark were fairly quiet for much of game against Peru so this will be tough against an Aussie side, who France struggled to pry open for much of match. 

Add in the fact that all of the Danes’ 28 World Cup goals have come from inside box then I have to fancy Australia here unless Christian Eriksen can produce a stunner, simply because I can see Australia keeping Denmark out of their box a lot.

Prediction: Denmark 0-1 Australia


France v Peru

World Cup - Group C - Peru vs Denmark
Can Andre Carrillo impress for Peru against a strong France team? (Reuters)

This is definitely bound to be interesting match with France’s front three of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe against Peru’s Andre Carrillo. 

Out of all the players in Group C’s opening games, Carrillo was the most impressive with his acceleration, speed and agility down the right before crossing into box for his teammates. 

Those qualities will definitely stand him in good stead against what will be a fierce French side.

Realistically, France should win this but Peru won their only previous meeting, 1-0 in a friendly in April 1982. 

I therefore can see them fancying their chances here and the last South-American team to beat France went on to lift the titles, Argentina achieving that feat in 1978. 

Although a draw would be decent, I can see France ultimately edging it because of the depth of talent within their squad here. 

Prediction: France 2-1 Peru


Argentina v Croatia

Defeat here and Argentina’s qualification hopes will be as good as over, if Iceland beat Nigeria on Friday. 

Croatia however last won back to back World Cup games 20 years ago, so know that history is against them here apart from fact that they are yet to lose a second group game at a World Cup. 

In terms of this game, Argentina need to play as a team rather than for every player for themselves, otherwise Croatia will just punish them from a strong midfield containing Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic. 

Do that and they should get a point but it’s possible that they could switch to 3-4-3 which could be costly at this stage if don’t adapt quickly. 

A draw here wouldn’t be bad but I am leaning to Croatia here for the win.

Prediction: Argentina 1-2 Croatia


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