Denmark opened their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign on Saturday when they faced off against a Peru side entering the competition for the first time in decades. The Danes were favourites, but to be honest they didn’t look good at all.
Christian Eriksen and company did manage to take a 1-0 win from the match, which of course is the most important thing, but they relinquished the majority of possession to their South American opponents and the Peruvians had 17 shots on goal. Really, they were very lucky to keep a clean sheet against the wasteful Peru, and not many could have argued if they hadn’t taken the win from that match.
Australia opened their campaign with a much more difficult fixture against hot favourites for the group top spot France, but unlike Denmark they actually managed to play much better than many expected.
A drubbing was the predicted outcome against the star studded French side, but Australia’s deep defending and constant hounding of their opponents kept them in the game, and just getting to the break at 0-0 was a massive achievement.
VAR was the main talking point of the second half as two penalties were awarded, the first of which Griezmann converted for France and the second being a Mile Jedinak spot kick to equalise. Unfortunately for the men Down Under they couldn’t hang on for the point, but it was a very promising performance from a side that many expect to finish bottom of the group.
Despite this contrast in performances, Denmark are still priced as odds on favourites. They have only won four of their last ten matches and face an Australia side who have only lost two of their last ten. The Aussies have taken results from Colombia, Hungary, and Czech Republic during this period too, so it’s not all been plain sailing for them.
We think an Australia Win or Draw Double Chance looks a great choice here, but we’re also expecting a draw to be the most likely outcome. Backing a Draw alongside this looks a good choice, and a 1-1 correct score prediction looks an attractive proposition too.
VAR is proving to be a major talking point in this competition, and it’s partly thanks to this technological development that we have seen a huge amount of penalties so far. At the time of writing nine have been scored already, which is only five fewer than the entire 2014 World Cup. With that in mind, backing Christian Eriksen, who takes free kicks and penalties for Denmark and who has scored 12 goals in his last 14 international appearances, looks a good choice for our anytime goalscorer predictions.
Denmark Predicted Lineup: Schmeichel, Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Christensen, Larsen, Delaney, Schone, Sisto, Eriksen, Poulsen, Jorgensen
Australia Predicted Lineup: Ryan, Risdon, Sainsbury, Milligan, Behich, Leckie, Mooy, Jedinak, Kruse, Rogic, Juric
These nations have met each other three times, with Denmark winning twice and Australia once. None of these encounters have been in competitive football, and the most recent came back in 2012.
William Kvist will be missing for Denmark after needing to be stretchered off in their World Cup opener, whilst Andreas Christensen is a doubt too after picking up a knock in the same game, but should recover in time.
Tomi Juric is expected to come in and replace Andrew Nabbout up front for Australia, but apart from that it’s likely to be an identical lineup as the one fielded against France.