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World Cup Preview: Denmark v Australia, France v Peru, Argentina v Croatia

By Duncan Ferris

Date: Wednesday 20 Jun 2018

World Cup Preview: Denmark v Australia, France v Peru, Argentina v Croatia

(Sharecast News) - With teams starting to be eliminated from the tournament, World Cup 2018 is fast approaching crunch time, and Thursday has some truly mouthwatering fixtures on offer.
1300 BST - Denmark v Australia (ITV) (Group C)

1600 BST - France v Peru (ITV) (Group C)

1900 BST - Argentina v Croatia (BBC) (Group D)

Facing off in the first match of the day are Denmark, who might count themselves a little lucky after winning their first match, and Australia, who definitely count themselves unlucky after losing theirs.

The Danes squeeked through their match with Peru aided by a well taken goal from Yussuf Poulsen and an exceptional display of shot-stopping from Leicester City's Kasper Schmeichel, and will be hoping that star playmaker Christian Eriksen will dictate the game a bit more against the socceroos.

Australia were desperately unlucky to come away from their opener with nothing after suffering a VAR controversy and conceding a freak own goal.

There were definite positives however, as Bert van Marwijk's side looked well organised and unafraid of attacking against a France team that was far superior on paper.

The talented French team appeared rather disjointed in their opening match, with their front three of Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe appearing to be stumped by the Australian resilience.

Defender Raphael Varane summed up the mood in the camp, saying: "We shouldn't dramatise [the situation] even though we have to be aware of the things that didn't go so well during the last match."

Peru have won the nation's only previous meeting, a 1-0 victory in 1982, and the country's 40,000 travelling fans will be hoping Christian Cueva will remember his shooting boots this time after he skied a penalty in the opener.

With Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the lone goal in Portugal's victory over Morocco on Wednesday, the never-ending argument over who is the better player between him and Argentina's Lionel Messi is bound to intensify.

Messi rather fluffed his first chance to impress at this tournament by missing a penalty in his side's shock draw with everyone's favourite dentist-headed team of Vikings.

The South American nation were dominant in possession and fashioned a number of chances but struggled to find a winning goal and if Croatia adopt Iceland's tactic of attempting to stifle Messi with constant and aggressive man marking, the team could find themselves in trouble.

Croatia's opening victory against Nigeria was comfortable but forward players such as Mario Mandzukic and Andrei Kramaric squandered a number of chances, despite being aided by the superb midfield duo of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.

Despite a raft of chances, Croatia registered just two shots on target and won the game courtesy of an own goal and a penalty.


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