World Cup Finals Group C Predictions by Dan Smith
Giroud edged Lacazette out of the France squad and Koscielny’s injury means Arsenal have no players in Group C
You always get the feeling that there is no in-between with France. On their day they can beat anyone – yet you feel it wouldn’t take a lot for everything to implode. Given the talent they have, it feels self defeating how quickly their own media and fans turn on them. The saying that too many options is a good problem to have might be a myth for Deschamps. You can see by who he hasn’t called up that it’s impossible to select an 11 that everyone can agree on. It’s easy for everyone one with hindsight to say they would have done this and that. Two years ago, no one was doubting his judgement ’til it went wrong in the final. Should win all three games but how will they respond if they face adversity?
I give Denmark the nod for second place purely on how the fixtures have worked out. The Danes don’t play France till match day 3, giving them the chance to secure qualification against Peru and Australia, something they would’ve bitten your hand off for before the draw. There isn’t a lot between the sides battling for second but they do have the outstanding player in Eriksen, a world class talent Peru and Australia do not boast. Hopefully they have learnt a lesson from the play offs. When they showed ambition they put Ireland to the sword. Will they be positive in this group?
Apart from the French games, I’m expecting the rest of the group C fixtures to be tight, without too many goals. Qualification should be put into context. It’s widely accepted that many of South America’s giants under performed, then New Zealand were only narrowly beaten in the playoffs
Despite all that this is a reward for a real effort to legitimise football in Peru. Hard to beat rather then free scoring, making them very similar to Denmark. Their top scorer is free after a drugs ban though so that could change their approach.
No longer their golden generation, although at 38 neutrals will want to see Tim Cahill score at another World Cup. What you see is what you get with this team. Like in all sports the Aussies will arrive in Russia with no fear, plenty of heart and will give it 100 percent. Lack of overall quality though and changing managers before the tournament may prove Unsettling.