World Cup favourites France find themselves in Group C of World Cup 2018, and they are joined by Australia, Denmark, and Peru.
On paper, Les Blues are far stronger than their opponents, and they are favourites to win the group. However, we predict an interesting battle between remaining three sides for the second spot in the group.
Here’s a little preview of all four nations from the Group C.
Australia are making their fourth consecutive appearance at World Cup. However, the route to qualification was not an easy one for them as they had to beat Honduras in the inter-confederation playoff.
Socceroos crashed out in the group stage in Brazil 2014, and we don’t see them improving their position in Russia. Australia’s best performance at World Cup came in 2006 when they managed to make it to the last-16 stage.
Aston Villa midfielder Mile Jedinak was the hero for Australia as he scored a hat-trick in the 3-1 win in the playoff. He will be a key figure for his side in Russia too. He will be accompanied by the likes of Huddersfield Town forward Aaron Mooy, Brighton keeper Mat Ryan and Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic.
World Cup veteran Tim Cahill is still going strong and find himself in the squad. The 38-year-old scored 11 goals for his side in the qualification process.
In the betting market, Australia are favourites to finish bottom of the group at 21/20 odds.
Behind France, Denmark are the favourites to clinch the second spot in the Group B. The Danes missed out on qualification in 2014, but they have a decent chance to make the last-16 in Russia. The Danes are making their fifth appearance at World Cup, and only once, they have crashed out in the group stage of the tournament. The Nordic country finished behind Poland in their qualifying group, and they defeated the Republic of Ireland in playoffs to book a place in the cup.
Denmark have some decent talent with names such as Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen and Christian Eriksen in the squad.
In the betting market, Denmark are available at 8/11 odds to qualify and at 5/4 odds to crash out in the group stage.
The France national side is brimming with ridiculous talent, and they are among the favourites to win the cup. Les Blues were unlucky to lose to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016, and they must be desperate to go one step further in Russia.
Les Blues are making their sixth consecutive appearance at World Cup. In 2014, they lost 1-0 to eventual champions Germany in quarterfinals. However, France have a much better side this time, and they are currently the fourth favourite in the betting market to win the whole tournament.
France lost only once in their qualifying campaign and won their group ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands.
The French side is full of players playing at major clubs, but the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe are also serious contenders for the Golden Ball award.
Deschamps has not selected names such as Lucas Digne, Layvin Kurzawa, Aymeric Laporte, Adrien Rabiot, Alexandre Lacazetter, Anthony Martial and Kingsley Coman in his squad. Laurent Koscielny and Dimitri Payet are currently sidelined with injuries.
Peru could be the dark horse in Group C. The South American nation are playing in the World Cup for the first time since 1982. Overall, this will be their fourth appearance at the football’s biggest event.
It’s a huge event for the entire nation, and Ricardo Gareca’s players must be desperate to leave a mark on the tournament. Peru finished ahead of Chile to claim the playoff spot in the South American qualifying group, and then, they defeated New Zealand in playoffs to seal their spot.
Most of the Peru squad play in American leagues. Veteran striker Paolo Guerrero is the most recognizable name in the side, and he will captain the side in the tournament. Jefferson Farfan (Locomotive Moscow) and Andre Carrillo (Watford) are other familiar faces in European football.
Peru are available at 9/4 odds to qualify to the next round.
France to win the group at 4/9 odds.
Denmark to qualify at 8/11 odds.