France celebrates as they beat Italy 3-1 in a friendly on June 1, 2018 at the Allianz Riviera in Nice, France (via @equipedefrance/Twitter)

FIFA World Cup preview: France, Denmark poised to push through Group C

Young, star-studded French team have high hopes for World Cup

The 2018 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday, June 14. Leading up to the tourney, we’ll offer our previews and predictions for each of the eight groups. Today, a look at Group C:

France:

FIFA rank (as of June 9, 2018): 7

Best player: Antoine Griezmann (Athletico Madrid)

Griezmann will be France’s starting striker and had a respectable 19 goals and nine assists in La Liga this season.

One to watch: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

In 2017, PSG made Mbappe the world’s second-most expensive player when he was signed from Monaco on loan for 145 million Euros. There’s a reason he’s worth this much, just watch.

Outlook:

France is a powerhouse with a great deal of depth including midfielders like Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. They are a young squad and are more than capable of capturing a World Cup this year.

READ MORE: Uruguay expected to stomp through Group A

READ MORE: Portugal and Spaib set to cruise through Group B

Australia

FIFA rank: 36

Best player: Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa)

The torch has been passed from Tim Cahill to Jedinak. Cahill is aging, and Jedinak has demonstrated he can produce, scoring 18 times in 75 matches for Australia.

One to watch: Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)

Mooy will partner Jedinak at the back end of the midfield. He had a successful first season in the English Premier League this year for Huddersfield.

Outlook:

Australia is in a tough group where a single loss will likely ruin their chances of moving through the group stage.

Peru

FIFA rank: 11

Best player: Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo)

After star striker Paolo Guerrero was suspended for the upcoming World Cup for doping, Cueva could take the reins as Peru’s top player. He is a creative attacking midfielder for top Brazilian side, Sao Paulo.

One to watch: Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow)

Farfan scored 10 goals and five assists in the Russian Premier League this season. He combines speed and strength to power through defences.

Outlook:

Peru has a strong side and the ability to beat Australia and Denmark but without Guerrero it will prove to be more of a challenge.

Denmark

FIFA rank: 12

Best player: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)

Hands down Denmark’s best player, Eriksen is a regular for the Spurs and recorded eight goals during Denmark’s World Cup qualification.

One to watch: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

The son of Manchester United legend, Peter Schmeichel, Kasper won a Premier League title with the underdogs Leicester in 2016.

Outlook:

Denmark has a chance to make it through the group stage but their journey will most certainly reside with their match against Peru. They have a strong side with most of their roster competing in Europe’s top leagues.

Group Winner: France. They will go unbeaten in this group. Any other result will be a shock.

Group Runner-Up: Denmark. The Danes are far more talented than Peru, along with a better goalie and better star player.


@kieranroconnor
kieran.oconnor@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

BC Wildfire Service to send 267 firefighters to Alberta

Sufficient personnel, resources remain in B.C. to respond to any fire activity

Car crashes into semi-truck in West Kelowna

Highway 97 heading northbound by Boucherie Rd. closed

Reminder: recycle your plant pots

Plastic flowerpots and plant trays can all be recycled

More than 200 Okanagan kids set to take to the skies

The annual COPA for Kids event will take place at the Kelowna airport on June 15

City of Kelowna’s Neighbourhood Grant to fund resident projects

Improve the block with innovative ideas funded by the city

Marriage proposal on the big screen at Enderby drive-in

Kelowna man gets engaged in front of hundreds to Vernon sweetheart

Update: Plan to see more smoke from South Okanagan wildfire

Richter Creek wildfire, 12 kilometres west of Osoyoos, is an estimated 400 hectares

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

South Okanagan cannabis dispensary operator that was raided is going to trial

Store operator is facing one charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

On-duty Vancouver cop facing dangerous driving charges after cyclist hit

The woman was taken to hospital with minor injuries

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Most Read