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Group C Winner to be Decided in Denmark vs France

Les Bleus have qualified for the Round of 16 but by no means can they head into their final group match against Denmark resting on that achievement. With a win here, the Danes could usurp the French from the top spot in Group C, the runner-up forced into a date with a very scary Croatian side. France will likely want to rest some of its senior cast, but Denmark has looked a very good side at times and gathering a full three points in this fixture will require a maximum effort.

Bovada currently has France as the favorite in moneyline markets at +115 with Denmark coming back at +385 and the draw sitting at +165. Totals shape up like this: OVER 2 is priced at +105 while the UNDER is sitting at -125.

SHARK BITES
  • Denmark has only beaten France once in their last six meetings in international competition.
  • France has taken 24 shots, nine on target, but has just three goals at World Cup 2018.
  • Denmark has taken 20 shots, seven on target, but has just two goals at World Cup 2018

DANES TO DRAW INSPIRATION FROM 2002

The last time a Danish side advanced beyond the group stage at a World Cup, Christian Eriksen was 10 years old. They actually won their group and it was the last time they beat France in international competition.

The French arrived in Korea/Japan as defending champs and left an embarrassed side being eliminated in the group stage, the first defending champion to do so since 1966, and all at the hands of a surprise Danish side in a 2-0 defeat.

This was among the greatest victories in the history of Danish football, and like their current squad they relied heavily on their leader in attack, Jon Dahl Tomasson. Once again the Danes will need a big game from their star. Christian Eriksen has improved as the tournament has progressed and I expect even more from him against this French side.

The French have struggled to shut down opponents in the middle of the park, which I thought would be where they’d dominate. Aaron Mooy seemed to be able to have his way in the midfield for the Aussies and if France can’t correct that when Eriksen takes the pitch, Denmark will see their share of the net and make life very difficult for Hugo Lloris.

There is one major problem with all of this, though. Denmark will be without striker Yussuf Poulsen due to suspension, which puts even more pressure on Eriksen and striker Nicolai Jorgensen to provide the vast majority of attack.

FRENCH FINISHING

Didier Deschamps’ men have everything you would expect from a French squad: flair, creativity, sound defending and piercing buildup. What they haven’t had is clinical finishing.

A strike force that boasts 102 goals in all competitions last season between them should not have this problem. Although I felt Les Bleus were making better decisions in the final third vs Peru, three goals on 24 shots through two games is a stat line they will have to improve upon.

Denmark had a couple of glaring errors in their defensive end in each of their opening group matches, but thanks to standout keeper Kasper Schmeichel and some poor finishing, they’ve managed to go relatively unscathed so far. Scoring woes aside, the French attack will be the strongest Denmark have faced so far and any defensive miscues will not go unpunished.

THE PLAY

The French look to be starting a rotated XI, but their depth is phenomenal and I expect the second-choice team to come out to impress and gain a chance to feature in future rounds.

The Danes will need goals as the Aussies are breathing down their necks for a spot in the Round of 16, so this total should go OVER 2 at +105. In the end I still like France to take this one, and at +125 on the -.5 goal spread I can’t walk away from that price.

Bet on the 2018 World Cup here