Preview: Denmark v France

Denmark will need at least a point on Tuesday when they meet Group C leaders France, who have already qualified for the last 16 at the 2018 World Cup.

2018 FIFA World Cup
26 June 2018
Group C
Kick-off: 22:00 HKT
Venue: Stadion Luzhniki

Referee: S. Ricci
Assistants: E. de Carvalho, M. van Gasse

Previous encounter:

Denmark 1-2 France (Friendly) 11/10/2015

Denmark goalscorers: E. Sviatchenko (90’+1)

France goalscorers: O. Giroud (4′, 6′)

Players to watch:

Christian Eriksen has been instrumental in Denmark’s success thus far in Russia and remains their most potent weapon. The Tottenham playmaker provided the assist in the 1-0 win over Peru and followed it up with a goal in the 1-1 draw with Australia.

The talent available to France has been well documented. They have some of the most exciting young forwards in world football, in Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, but a crucial player for Les Bleus is the unsung hero N’Golo Kante. The Chelsea midfielder has provided the France defence with an effective screen and has quietly kept the possession ticking over, allowing the likes of Paul Pogba to roam.

Team form and manager quotes:

The Danish Dynamite come into the game having drawn their last game against Australia 1-1. Eriksen opened the scoring for the Scandinavians early in the game, but a 38th-minute penalty from Mile Jedinak salvaged a point for the Socceroos.

“We made mistakes against Australia that better teams would punish us for. We cannot risk that now. We must be much more alert to France and their counter-attacking game. If we make technical mistakes in the final third it will make it too easy for them,” Denmark manager Age Hareide told the press.

Denmark trail France by two points in Group C, with four points after two games, but more importantly have a three-point lead over Australia, which means a draw would secure their place in the knockout stage of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Didier Deschamps’ side have already ensured that they will take part in the round of 16 after beating Australia and Peru, 2-1 and 1-0 respectively.

Deschamps may therefore be tempted to rest a few of his key players, especially Corentin Tolisso, Pogba and Blaise Matuidi, who are all one caution away from missing the next match.

Deschamps told his press conference: “Of course it’s different when you arrive with six points. I have options, so I will look at the individual situation of each player, the yellow cards and how I can manage their play time.”

Team news:

Denmark have a full-strength squad available, but Thomas Delaney and Pione Sisto are one caution away from missing their country’s next game.

France have no fresh injury concerns but Tolisso, Pogba and Matuidi would miss the last 16 if they pick up another yellow card against Denmark.