2018 FIFA World Cup football – Group C preview and betting odds
- France are undoubtedly the favourites to qualify from Group C of the World Cup 2018.
- Didier Deschamps’ team will be hoping they can go one better than their loss to Portugal in the final of Euro 2016.
- Denmark, Peru, and Australia make up the other teams competing to make it into the last 16.
- We preview this interesting group that could be very tempting for betting and entertaining to watch.
France – There’s no question that France have one of the best squad’s heading into the World Cup. Their midfield of N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, and Adrien Rabiot all have the ability to control any football match. However, they’re also blessed with supreme talent up front.
PSG’s Kylian Mbappe is already world class at the age of 18, and he’s likely to play alongside Antoine Griezman. But, alongside an impressive side on paper, you need a functioning machine. Even though Deschamps’ men finished top of their qualifying group, they had some lacklustre performances on the way. The 0-0 draw at home to Luxembourg was one which was especially shocking.
France only managed to score 18 goals in total from 10 games, and it’s their inability to break teams down which could be their hindrance in Russia. Back Les Bleus to win group C at 33/100 with Unibet, while you can find them at 1/20 to qualify. If you fancy this capable squad of going all the way, then you can find them at 7/1 with 888Sport.
Key Player: Paul Pogba – The Manchester United midfielder has come under intense pressure this season from Jose Mourinho and fans. This is largely due to his inconsistency and high-expectations but the £89 million pound man definitely has the potential to change a tournament. Alongside N’Golo Kante, he will have license to roam forward and show the world his devastating ability.
Australia – It seems that Australia have managed to crack qualifying for the World Cup. Russia will be their fourth major tournament in a row, however they certainly did it the hard way. Draws against Iraq, Thailand and Saudi Arabia meant they had to play two additional playoff rounds. An extra-time goal from 38-year-old Tim Cahill ensured they beat Syria, while two Mile Jedinak penalties helped them to overcome Honduras.
The drama was still to come, though. After qualification, coach Ange Postecoglou decided it was the right time to quit his position. In January 2018, the Australian FA made an announcement that Bert van Marwijk was the right man for the job. The 65-year-old veteran led Holland to the World Cup final in 2010 and the Aussies will be hoping this experience will ensure they have a upper hand over opponents in Russia.
The bookies don’t believe Australia will cause many shocks in this year’s tournament, however. They are 20/1 with 888Sport to win their group, while you can find them at 4/1 with Betway to qualify. Meanwhile, BoyleSports have them at 500/1 to lift the trophy.
Key Player: Aaron Mooy – The Huddersfield midfielder has been the main reason for the club’s survival in the Premier League this season. Mooy has the ability to put in a man-of-the-match performance against any team and he’ll be one of the first names in van Marwijk’s starting 11.
Peru – For the first time since 1982, Peru will be making an appearance at the World Cup. However, it wasn’t exactly a straight forward qualification. A playoff victory over New Zealand was needed, and it was a win that actually propelled them into 10th in the FIFA world rankings.
Since manager Ricardo Gareca’s appointment in 2015, Peru have been undefeated, with five victories and four draws. But it’s their reputation as a young, exciting team that will draw attention in this year’s tournament. The South American team will fancy their chances of progressing from group C, and with players such as Andy Polo, Renato Tapia, and Yordy Reyna in their ranks, they certainly have the ability.
Key Player: Jefferson Farfan – Even though the Lokomotiv Moscow winger is 33 years of age, he still possesses great skill and pace. The ex-Schalke player scored a goal in the crucial 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the playoffs which sealed their place at the tournament.
Denmark – This will be only the fifth time that Denmark have competed at a World Cup. The 1992 European champions have suffered somewhat since their golden era in which they reached the quarterfinals of the 1998 world cup and the round of 16 just four years later.
A poor tournament in Africa too meant they could only manage three points as they crashed out of the group stage. However, fast forward eight years and manager Aage Hareide will be hoping he can at least take his team to the last 16. The Norwegian is unbeaten since his appointment in 2015 and has based success on a decent defence. The Danes only conceded eight goals in 10 qualifying matches before defeating the Republic of Ireland in the playoffs.
Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The 26-year-old may seem like an obvious choice but he is easily Denmark’s best player. Eriksen was instrumental in their qualification, scoring eight goals in 10 matches. The Tottenham midfielder has the potential to unlock any defence with his range of passing.