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​WORLD CUP 2018 - Group C Preview: Will Denmark, Australia & Peru be fodder for France on their quest for glory?

Up until the first ball is kicked in the Luzhniki Stadium Stadium in Moscow, Tribal will be providing you with in-depth analysis of all the 32 teams that will compete for the Jules Rimet Trophy.

Here are the previews for:

Group A

Group B

Now let's continue with Group C, which features France, Denmark, Peru & Australia



France

How did they get here?

Les Bleus lost just once in European qualifying to finish on top of their group, ahead of Sweden and the Netherlands. They were beaten at the quarter-finals stage four years ago by the eventual champions, Germany. As a player, current manager Didier Deschamps captained his country to their only World Cup title in 1998.

Who are they?

Martial, Lacazette, Digne, Kurzawa, Laporte, Rabiot, Ben Yedder, Payet, Coman. That's who will not be playing for France in Russia. Yet, despite the unprecedented depth at Deschamps' disposal, nobody is convinced that France are the stand alone favourites. Deschamps' 4-4-3 system starts off strong at the back, with Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti and N'Golo Kante leading through the spine. The lion's share of the responsibility for France falls on the shoulders of Giroud, Pogba, Griezmann and Mbappe. Can their abundance of attacking talent reach their potential? That is the question that will define France's tournament.



The young player to watch…

Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old is hardly an unknown quantity, but he can solidify his status the world's best youngster with a successful tournament.

How will they advance?

Coming up against three teams that qualified via play-off's, the group stage for France should be nothing more than preparation for the tougher tests that lay ahead.

Group stage fixtures: Australia (June 16 - Kazan), Peru (June 21 - Ekaterinburg), Denmark (June 26 - Moscow)

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)

Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Ngolo Kante (Chelsea), Steven Nzonzi (Sevilla)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)



Denmark

How did they get here?

Denmark advanced through the European play-offs, thrashing Ireland 5-1 on aggregate. This is only the fifth time Denmark have qualified for the World Cup, and their last appearance came in 2010 when they knocked out at the group stage.

Who are they?

Age Hareide's side will play in a 4-3-3/4-5-1 variant, with Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen acting as the lynchpin in central midfield. Eriksen will have to carry his team if they are to progress in Group C. Yussuf Poulsen, Pione Sisto and Andreas Corneilus should provide an outlet for Eriksen to showcase his expansive passing repertoire. Andreas Christensen will lead Denmark in defence alongside Simon Kjaer, and Kasper Schmiechel will be kept busy in goals. A 4-0 thrashing of Poland in qualifying shows Denmark can dominate when they are on form.




The young player to watch…

Yussuf Poulsen. The 23-year-old RB Leipzig attacker will be hoping to feed off Eriksen to help fire his country through to the knockout stages.

How will they advance?

Denmark have a good chance of making it through to the knockout stages. Peru and Australia are beatable. But it will take a concerted team effort behind the leadership of Eriksen to see them progress.

Group stage fixtures: Peru (June 16 - Saransk), Australia (June 21 - Samara), France (June 26 - Moscow)

Squad (27-man preliminary squad):

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby)

Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Andreas Bjelland (Brentford), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich)

Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Mike Jensen (Rosenborg), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna)

Forwards: Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax).




Peru

How did they get here?

Peru pipped Chile to a spot in the play-offs, which they won over New Zealand, sparking emotional scenes in Lima. It is the first time the South American nation have qualified for the World Cup since 1982 and their fourth appearance overall.

Who are they?

They are the tenth ranked team in the world, according to FIFA. Now while we take these rankings with a pinch of salt, Peru do have the second best squad in Group C. Led by veteran Paolo Guerrero, La Blanquirroja boast attacking talent in Feyernood midfielder Renato Tapia, wingers Christian Cueva and veteran Jefferson Farfan. Thursday's decision in a Swiss High Court to repeal Guerrero's ban for doping has considerably increased Peru's chances in Russia. Now they have their talisman, focal point and goalscorer, who can lead them into the knockout stages.



The young player to watch…

Renato Tapia. A talented midfielder, the 22-year-old struggled for regular playing time in Holland this season and could earn himself a move if he performs well.

How will they advance?

Just like Denmark, Peru have the ability to finish second in this group, that is if they can supplant the loss of Guerrero.

Group stage fixtures: Peru (June 15 - Saransk), France (June 21 - Ekaterinburg), Australia (June 26 - Sochi)

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Veracruz), Jose Carvallo (Universidad Tecnica).

Defenders: Luis Advincula (Lobos), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Aldo Corzo (Universitario de Deportes), Nilson Loyola (Melgar), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Alberto Rodriguez (Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo).

Midfielders: Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg BK), Paolo Hurtado (VitoriaGuimaraes), Renato Tapia (Feyernoord), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Pedro Aquino (Lobos), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz), Sergio Pena (Granada), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv).



Australia

How did they get here?

The Socceroos endured a gruelling campaign to qualify for their fourth consecutive World Cup. Having beaten Syria in the AFC play-off, the Aussies defeated Honduras over two-legs to secure their place in Russia.

Who are they?

As evidenced by their self-inflicted qualification route, the golden generation of Australian football is well and truly over. Former Netherlands boss Bert van Marwijk took over from Ange Postecoglou, who left in November, and has had only two games in charge. He will likely use a 4-5-1 system that can push into a 4-3-3 when in attack. Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic are the two standout players, while Mile Jedinak and Trent Sainsbury will be tasked with keeping the middle solidified. Ultimately, Brighton keeper Mat Ryan, who experienced a fantastic debut season in the Premier League, will be Australia's most important player given how much action he'll be involved in.



The young player to watch…

Daniel Arzani. The 19-year-old was a surprising but necessary inclusion by van Marwijk, who can use the tricky winger to throw on as a late substitute.

How will they advance?

The lack of a structured system, star power and stability means Australia will find it difficult to advance in Group C.

Group stage fixtures: France (June 15 - Kazan), Denmark (June 21 - Samara), Peru (June 26 - Sochi)

Squad (26-man preliminary squad):

Goalkeepers: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion), Danny Vukovic (KRC Genk)

Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Blue Wings), Fran Karacic (NK Lokomotiva), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (GrasshopperZurich), Aleksandar Susnjar (FK Mlada Boleslav), Bailey Wright (Bristol City)

Midfielders: Josh Brillante (Sydney), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Tom Rogic (Celtic), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)

Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tim Cahill (Millwall), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa).

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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