Group C sees a very cagey group with France anticipated to lead the way, partnered by the Danes, Peruvians and the Tim Cahill army.
It wouldn’t be right to start this overview without mentioning France first. Their squad is arguably unmatched by any other side in the whole of the world cup with fantastic strength in depth. Players like Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial aren’t even going to this world cup and most teams would probably be starting them. The French midfield is going to be very tough to break down with N’golo Kante running the midfield, Paul Pogba distributing the ball and Blaise Matuidi as a box to box threat.
This is without even mentioning the likes of Corentin Tolisso and Steven N’Zonzi who could do the jobs just as well. Ousmane Dembele is a player who could have a fantastic tournament, he’s been injury ridden this season and is finally coming back to fitness and looking the threat that Barcelona expected him to be when they paid 105 million euros for him. The amount of service that Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud are going to get should definitely prove the French with a non stop goalscoring threat. France should take this group apart with the squad they have and I’d be very surprised to see anything less.
Predicted group finish: 1st
Peru are a very interesting side and perhaps one to follow for this World Cup. Their qualifying form and recent friendlies have shown that they are by no means an underdog and are not to be underestimated. In their groups they finished in the last qualfiying spot above Chile and have since gone on an unbeaten run of 15 games coming into this tournament. Veteran striker Paolo Guerrero fired in 6 goals during the group stage and the Peruvians would be hoping to see the same in this group stage. The skill and speed of Watford’s Andre Carrillo down the right side will be utilised regularly and after a fairly poor season in the Premier league this season he’d be hoping for the performances he usually gives at the international stage.
Peru’s defence is the downside though, with an average backline especially after shipping an average of 1.4 goals a game in the group stage they will need to be focused enough to prevent the threats from the world class forwards in their group.
Predicted group finish: 3rd
Going down under to Australia they have a very tough task on their hands in a group with some classy attacking outfits. Trent Sainsbury leads the backline, with Brighton shot-stopper Mathew Ryan behind him. Ryan had a fantastic first season in the premier league with Brighton, who despite shipping one of the most goals in the league this season, he managed to keep 10 clean sheets in the process. He’ll need to very much be on form if he’s to stop Australia leaking goals left right and centre. Moving forward to the midfield, the Aussies have Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield who provides a very good box to box midfielding style along side Celtic’s Tom Rogic. Rogic is known for his long shot taking, will give the sense of the unknown and the moments of magic he provides, Australia will hope come frequently. Talking of unpredictability there’s nothing unpredictable about Australia legend, Tim Cahill. This will unsurprisingly be his last world cup as he’s still knocking around at the age of 38, but Aus fans will be hoping he can bang in at least one more header.
Predicted group finish: 4th
The last participants of the group Denmark have become quite a threatening side in recent years with players such as Kasper Schmeichel and Christian Eriksen moving through the top tiers of English football and really proving themselves to be top, top players. This Danish side not only has the rock of Schmeichel in goal but they also have Andreas Christensen of Chelsea in defence. The young Dane has broken through the Chelsea ranks this season and proved himself to be a brilliant young up and coming centre back in the premier league. RB Leipzig striker Youssef Poulsen has grown into a brilliant young player over the last years during Leipzig’s rise into the high end of German football, and his threat in the air along side Nikolas Jorgensen will prove hard to deal with for the small defences. The two Danes stand at over 6ft 4 each, with Christian Eriksen’s genius on dead balls it will clearly prove a dilemma for teams.
Predicted group finish: 2nd
Example group standings:
1st: France :7 Points
2nd: Denmark :5 Points
3rd: Peru :4 Points
4th: Australia :0 Points