Ousmane Dembele celebrates winner v England

World Cup 2018: Group C preview & predictions

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 South American side.

The Peruvians reached the quarter finals in 1970, losing to a Brazil side that is considered 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

COLOGNE, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 14: Anthony Martial of France passes the ball to Alexandre Lacazette of France who later scores his sides first goal during the international friendly match between Germany and France at RheinEnergieStadion on November 14, 2017 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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. And the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial have been left out completely.

France’s attacking options are brilliant. Deschamps has so many options. Dimitri Payet is another high profile class attacking player that has failed to make it.

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 one of Manchester United’s stand out players this season but amidst rumours about his relationship with Jose Mourinho, French fans will hope that all is well with Deschamps in Russia.

Australia

Mile Jedinak 3 - Honduras 1

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 in 2017/2018 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

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 a 1-1 draw would see Colombia qualify for the tournament and send Peru to the play-offs ahead of Chile.

The result concluded that Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal would not be appearing in Russia this summer.

Peru have a bunch of players in the MLS.

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. A long running drugs ban was overturned just before the World Cup, making Guerrero’s time in Russia well worth keeping an eye on.

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

Christian Eriksen v Ireland

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).

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 former Arsenal striker will be missed due to injury.

101 Great Goals predicts 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.

Ready for the World Cup? Get all the latest World Cup betting tips & predictions here.

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

World Cup Group C video previews:

Tifo Football World Cup Group C tactical preview:

FourFourTwo Group C preview:

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Back France to win the World Cup: 6/1!