Denmark v France preview
Denmark will need just a point from their final Group C game with France to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup, with Les Bleus already through.
The Danes drew with Australia in their second group fixture, and another point would secure their place in the knockout rounds ahead of the Socceroos.
They could also top the group should they beat France and coach Age Hareide says Denmark will be aiming for an all-out victory at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
“I know one point will be enough but that’s not a good way to start the match,” he said. “If you put that into your players’ heads there will be passiveness in the team and that’s not good.
“It will be a tough match tomorrow. The players worked very hard in the first two matches. We haven’t done our best in terms of play but we’ve worked very hard for the points. We can’t ask for more.”
A draw would also be enough for France to win Group C after winning both of their opening games, but Didier Deschamps says he will not be handing out favours to their fellow competitors.
“We are not going to give them a helping hand. Our goal is to guarantee first place and two results will allow that,” he said.
“I would never say to my team that we’re playing for a draw. I want my team to go out onto the pitch without any ambiguity and to do everything to win this match. I’m sure Denmark will also be playing to win.”
Denmark will be without Yussuf Poulsen, who is suspended, although the remainder of the squad should be in contention.
Deschamps admitted he could rest players in danger of suspension, with midfield trio Paul Pogba, Blaise Matuidi and Corentin Tolisso all a booking away from missing the next match.
Raphael Varane looks likely to captain the side, with Steve Mandanda expected to start in goal ahead of regular skipper Hugo Lloris.
“I have 23 players, they can all have a role to play and start a match,” Deschamps added. “There are no risks, if they’re here it’s because they’re ready to play.”
- Denmark and France have met twice in the World Cup, both in the final of game of the group stages – France won 2-1 in 1998 and Denmark won 2-0 in 2002.
- Denmark and France are meeting at a sixth major tournament after Euro 1984, Euro 1992, World Cup 1998, Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002. France went on to win three of those five previous tournaments.
- Olivier Giroud has scored each of France’s last three goals against the Danes, most recently a double in a 2-1 victory in October 2015.
- Denmark have lost four of their last five World Cup games against fellow European nations, with the exception in that run being a 2-0 win against France in 2002.
- If Denmark are awarded a penalty in this match, it will be the first time since Group C in 1998 that all four teams have had a penalty in a single World Cup group – that group also contained France and Denmark.
- France have only won all three of their group stage games at a World Cup finals once before, back in 1998 when they went on to win the tournament. Their third win in that edition also came against Denmark.
- Denmark’s Christian Eriksen has scored 17 goals in his last 20 appearances for the national side.
- France’s Kylian Mbappé could become the first teenager to score in more than one World Cup match since England’s Michael Owen did so in 1998.