European powerhouse France ($1.28) are the warm favourites to take out a group that includes Denmark ($5.50), Peru ($11) and Australia ($21).
France are well equipped with one of the most talented squads in European football and are red-hot favourites to finish top of the group.
Denmark boasts some of the most exciting young talent in Europe and we could see an interesting battle for the second place in qualifying if the Socceroos can get some get some points from their clash with Peru.
Suggested Bet: Exacta of France to finish 1st and Denmark to finish 2nd @ $2.75
France’s last visit to the final of the World Cup was over a decade ago when they lost a dramatic final to Italy in a penalty shootout. Didier Deschamps had the luxury of leaving out Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema from a squad that includes a plethora of world-class players.
Atlético Madrid talisman Antoine Griezmann will lead a French attack that includes Paris-Saint Germain young-gun Kylian Mbappe and inform Chelsea striker Oliver Giroud.
Manchester United’s Paul Pogba will occupy the midfield with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and expect to see Thomas Lemar and the highly-rated Nabil Fekir to create some goal-scoring opportunities for France’s attack.
Les Bleus will be looking for some redemption after their 2014 effort fell short in the quarter-finals in Brazil with a 1-0 defeat to eventual winners Germany. There’s no doubting France’s talent on paper and if coach Didier Deschamps can avoid a repeat of the disharmony that infected the side at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, then they’ll be one of the favourites to contest the final.
First Match: vs Australia (Saturday 16th June 8PM AEST)
Denmark are expected to claim the second qualifying position behind France in what could potentially be a tight battle. The Danes will be relying heavily on the magic of Pione Sisto and Christen Eriksen to create their goal scoring opportunities.
Eriksen has developed into one of the best number ten’s in the world and scored eight times on the road to World Cup qualification, including a hat trick against Ireland in Dublin.
Denmark have never progressed beyond the quarter finals of the World Cup and the 1992 European Champions may be a notch below France in terms of class, but if they live up to their potential, they should be able to progress beyond the group stage of the 2018 tournament.
First Match: vs Peru ( Sunday 17th June 2AM AEST)
Peru were able to grab a spot in Group C thanks to a playoff win over New Zealand. The South Americans have called up a number of players who ply their trade in MLS in North America but are still dangerous opponents. Peru’s results in qualifying helped the country make the 2018 tournament at the expense of Copa America champions Chile.
The South Americans will be without their skipper and all-time top scorer Palo Guerrero who was ruled out of the tournament through a suspension from FIFA. The side will be looking for Lokomotiv forward Jefferson Faran to lead the attack with help from the midfielder Christian Cueva.
Peru are a dangerous attacking opponent but will face a massive task to progress against a group that includes one of the favourites for the trophy and will need some luck to sneak into second place behind France.
First Match: vs Denmark ( Sunday 17th June 2AM AEST)
The reigning Asian Cup champions will be making their 5th World Cup appearance when they step out on the park against France.
The Socceroos have been rated the weakest side of the group and the Aussies will relish their underdog status and the opportunity to make their mark against some of the best players in the world.
The Aussies will be looking to utilise the experience of Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk to progress beyond the group stage for the first time since 2006. The attack will be led by veteran Tim Cahill, who will be looking to join some rare company by netting a goal at his fourth World Cup.
The Socceroos face a massive task to progress beyond the group stage and will need to get some points against France to stand a chance of making the knock-out stages.
First Match: vs France (Saturday 16th June 8PM AEST)