And we keep going. Time to predict and analyze Group C from the 2018 FIFA World Cup! Daily reminder of what the groups look like.
Let’s get started!
Draw: France, Australia, Peru, Denamrk
This group has one clear cut team essentially guaranteed to advance. Then it gets interesting. Any one of the three teams that aren’t France can advance out of this group. This group may not have the biggest teams in the tournament, but it can make for some of the most interesting games.
This is the easiest decision to make from this group. France are clearly the best team of the four. They have at least 2 to 3 players at every position that can step on the field and put forward a legitimate shift. They have only lost once in WCQs this year and hve had great results vs teams like the Netherlands and Sweden.
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, England) in goal is overall very good. He makes his mistakes, but he will do enough to keep out everything he should. Kante (Chelsea, England), Bakayoko (Chelsea, England), Varane (Real Madrid, Spain) and Umtiti (Barcelona, Spain) won’t let much by anyway. Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, Spain) is on fire right now with 4 goals and 4 assists in 10 WCQs. With the help of Lacazette (Arsenal, England), Mbappe (PSG, France), Pogba (Manchester United, England) and Dembele (Barcelona, Spain), they will be deadly going forward. This team is scary deep and scary talented. This team should walk out of the group with 9 points and no problems. There’s not much else to say.
Or as some know them, Christian Eriksen and 10 other dudes. While that statement is only a partial joke, Eriksen (Tottenham, England) has been the main producer through the Dane’s strong world cup qualifying cycle. His ability to take over a game on his own was shown in the playoff vs Republic of Ireland, when he took over and scored a hat trick to send Denmark to the finals.
Denmark also are strong at the goalkeeper position with Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City, England), son of legendary goalkeeper Peter
Schmeichel. He can come up with big saves when asked and can keep his team in any game. Andreas Christensen (Chelsea, England) has proven his abilities this season, and will anchor the backline with Kjaer (Sevilla, Spain). Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town, England) and Braithwaite (Middlesbrough, England) will lead the line with football’s Lord and savior Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg, Norway) available to give aide off the bench.
Where they will find trouble is in the wing play. They don’t really have any stand out wniers that will make you sit on the edge of you seat as they go forward. So if Eriksen has trouble when going up against a Kane or Bakayoko, the whole team will be shut down. However, with Eriksen and the power of the Lord Bendtner on their side, they will finish in 2nd in the group and advance.
The Rooooos. Everyone’s favorite team from down under! Unfortunately, they will also be one of the teams down under the red line this year in the group. After 5 draws in WCQs, Australia was forced into a playoff against Honduras. They drew the first leg 0-0, but were able to get the job done at home to advance to the finals. While Australia have some exciting and talented individuals, they do not have the all-around squad talent that will get them out of the group.
The core of their team, Tim Cahill (Unassigned) and Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa, England), are going to turn 39 and 34 respectively. Cahill is again without a team after not getting the playing time he desired, and not sure if there is any 34-year-old CM who has ben successful at a high level in quite a while. Mat Ryan (Brighton, England) is a decent keeper at his best, and the back line is not exactly the strongest in the world. They are going to give up a lot of chances and goals this time around.
What they do have going for them is their midfield. Outside of Jedinak, they have two younger, more exciting midfielders in Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town, England) and Matt Leckie (Hertha Berlin, Germany). Mooy, the ex-Man City product has been a great addition for Huddersfield, helping the newly promoted team to climb to an 11th place spot in the Premier League table at the time of writing. Leckie has 4 goals and an assist for Hertha this season in the Bundesliga. These guys will be Australia’s bright spot this tournament, but they may be it.
I don’t put it by Cahill to score something crazy for the Roos at the tournament, but it won’t be enough for hem to advance past the likes of France or Denmark. They will finish 3rd and just miss out.
For the first time since 1982, Peru have qualified for the World Cup. However, this is where the Cinderella story will end. Peru had to go into a play off against New Zealand, which they won 2-0 after two legs to make it to the finals. However, a few weeks after this achievement, Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo, Brazil) was tested positive for cocaine, and was suspended for a whole year, meaning he will miss he World Cup. Guerrero was the teams leading goal scorer through WCQs, with there net leading scorer notching 5. They have picked up some solid results, like a 2-1 win vs Uruguay in March of this year. However, without the leadership and attacking ability of the now suspended Guerrero, they will have difficult time trying to create opportunities against the teams in their group.
Players to watch for Peru this tournament include Yordy Reyna and Yoshimar Yotun. The MLS duo showed bright sparks during their respective seasons this year. Reyna had a strong second half of the year. He picked up 6 goals and 3 assists as a part of the 3rd place in the west Vancouver Whitecaps this season. Yotun joined a struggling Orlando team towards the end of the season and slotted in the center of the midfield, picking up a goal and 4 assists. They will be key in helping Peru be competitive in this tournament. However, without that true leader in Guerrero, Peru will struggle to settle in and pick up results. They will end up in the last spot in the group.