2018 FIFA World Cup: Day 13

With groups A & B sorted, attention turns to those in Group C as Denmark and Australia vie for the other qualification spot alongside France.

The evening then sees Group D reach its climax as Nigeria, Iceland and Argentina all look to snatch that last knockout spot, whilst Nigeria could also win the group if Croatia lose by a significant margin.

 

Group C

Denmark vs France

A point here will do for Denmark but victory will see them win the group from current leaders and their opponents – France. 

Didier Deschamps will probably rest many of his French side but if win group, they face Group D runner up of; Nigeria/Iceland or Argentina. 

Those three teams can provide tough opposition for France, whilst finishing second will likely see them play Croatia. 

All four sides from Group D will be tough either way no matter who they get in round of 16 but both sides will want to go into the next stage with nice momentum. 

For that reason, I can see a draw here.

Prediction: Denmark 1-1 France

 

Australia vs Peru

Australia simply have to win here and hope that France beats Denmark by at least two goals, if they are to advance. 

Peru however will be tough competition with their attacking potential, although they haven’t been clinical when through on goal. 

Add in the fact that the Aussies’ two goals so far have come from penalties by Mile Jedinak then this could be a tight cagey match. 

In end, I can see Australia nicking it even if won’t be enough depending on how Denmark fare. 

Prediction: Australia 1-0 Peru

Group D

Argentina vs Nigeria

This is winner takes all as Argentina must win to stand a chance at qualifying for the knockouts, although there are so many different scenarios at play. 

At least a point for Nigeria will do unless Iceland beat Croatia and score one more goal than the African side. 

In event that Argentina were to win and Iceland beat Croatia, they would need two more goals than what Iceland manage if want to go through.

Now focusing on match itself, Nigeria could stick with the 3-5-2 formation from their win over Iceland.

Argentina meanwhile are set for another formation change (yet again!) with players reportedly deciding the team. 

If true then they better get it right otherwise they will face the wrath of Argentineans if go out, and relying on positive omens will be no excuse here. 

In four previous World Cup meetings, Argentina have won each of those clashes by a one goal margin but I personally feel that they have to go for broke here and quickly adapt to whatever formation they decide on. 

In end, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nigeria end their losing streak against countries from South America and get a draw. 

Prediction: Argentina 1-1 Nigeria

 

Iceland vs Croatia

Iceland must win if they are to stand any chance of progressing to the knockouts, depending on the Argentina vs Nigeria result. 

Croatia meanwhile are already through so can afford to rest key players like Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic who are all one booking away from suspension.

Although Croatia lead the head to head 4-1 with one draw from six meetings between these sides, they qualified from the same UEFA qualifying group  with both winning their home game. 

Now this is neutral terrority and Croatia have never topped a World Cup group before, making this really interesting because of the effect it can have on the group standings overall. 

Croatia know that they can take on whoever they get from Group C in next round so I can see them resting players and Iceland taking a win here. 

Prediction: Iceland 1-0 Croatia

 

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