Prediction: Both teams to score
Denmark could secure their place in the World Cup last-16 as they clash with France at the Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
The Danes only need a point to qualify for the next round, which would oust Peru and Australia in the process. Despite that, Denmark will be aiming for a victory that will take them top of Group C as the group stages come to an end. Meanwhile, a point for France would see them win the group.
Getting to the final 16 of a World Cup tournament would not be an unfamiliar feeling for the Danes. Of the four tournaments that they have participated in, they have progressed through their group on three occasions. Having said that, they did fall at the first hurdle in their last campaign in South Africa, finishing with only one win in total. Their best finish at World Cup finals remains their quarter-final berth in France 1998. They were eventually edged out by Brazil 3-2.
Hareide will be relieved to find out that midfielder William Kvist is able to return to the torunament after suffering broken ribs and a punctured lung against Peru. He is unlikely to be able to feature against France, however. There are no other injury concerns for the Danish team to worry about.
Coming into the tournament, Didier Deschamps’ men were one of the favourites to lift the trophy. It could be fair to say that they have lived up to that billing. Currently sitting top of Group C, a draw on Tuesday afternoon would be enough for them to claim the group. Despite a few dodgy performances, Les Bleus have claimed six points thanks to a 2-1 win over Australia and a 1-0 victory over Peru. Whilst the French showings have not been particularly vintage, they have managed to reach the last-16 in two consecutive World Cup appearances. It will be the first time that the team have done that since the 1986 and 1998 editions.
If they are to enjoy an extended stay in Russia, it will be their prolificacy that will be a key aspect. France have failed to score in only one out of their last 16 matches. It is clear then that Denmark will have to defend stoutly if they have any hope of winning the group.
Djibril Sidibe has previously been an injury doubt with a knee injury but could return against Denmark. Elsewhere, Antoine Greizmann and Kylian Mbappe have both scored one goal apiece at the World Cup so far so should lead the line yet again.
Key Facts to Consider
- France have the better all-time head-to-head record between the two sides (W8, D1, L4)
- The two sides have met at the World Cup twice before, both claiming a win
- France won the last clash between the two sides 2-1 in a friendly in 2015
- France have not won three consecutive World Cup games since 2006
- Denmark have only kept five clean sheets in their last 18 World Cup games
This game is expected to be a competitive one as both teams aim to claim top spot in the group. It would be crucial for Les Bleus not to underestimate Denmark as they will present quite a challenge. However, the quality in the French side should well be enough to see them claim the victory. Both sides will qualify for the last-16 though, with plenty of goals being the key feature of this game.
Prediction: Both teams to score
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