World Cup Group C – Betting Tips and Preview
When the FIFA World Cup 2018 groups were drawn, we will admit that Group C isn’t one that would’ve attracted attention, even if it does contain one of the favourites in France. However, with Denmark, Peru and Australia making up the group it brings us an intriguing clash of styles and the potential for a lot of fast, exciting football.
Obviously, France are the hot favourites in this group with many punters fancying Didier Deschamps’ side to be serious contenders for the prestigious trophy in July. And, it’s easy to see why given the squad he has at his disposal that boasts power, skill, pace, technique – the lot.
The World Cup schedule for Group C begins on Saturday 16 June, or day three of the tournament, with France starting against Australia. Meanwhile, the matches in Group C World Cup 2018 will be played out over the ten days following that with the top two progressing into the last 16 of the tournament.
Those are the dates for World Cup 2018 you need to remember for this group and here at OpenOdds we will give you an in-depth guide of how we think it will play out, including recommending bets for the showpiece event.
Winner Prediction: France
Whilst they won’t admit it, the reality is the French would’ve been delighted when they saw their World Cup 2018 group draw.
Where fellow favourites such as Spain have to face Portugal and Belgium come up against England among other big games, they have as straightforward a passage to the last 16 as they could’ve realistically asked for.
That’s not to say they are going to thrash the sides in the group, all three teams have different qualities and France more than most know the danger of underestimating opponents at this stage, but they should win this group with maximum points.
We think that because their squad is supremely strong. With the likes of Raphael Varane and Samuel Umtiti in defence, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in midfield behind attacking options such as Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, the France squad looks scarily good. We could’ve listed many, many more players as well!
That pace and quality in the final third could be key to them getting all the way to the final and it should certainly be too much for the sides in this group.
The pleasing aspect for Deschamps is that he has so many other options too. If things aren’t going well, changes can be made and the pragmatic boss isn’t scared to change the style completely, such as going with Olivier Giroud and playing more direct, with the Chelsea man possibly starting.
Either way, he has a hugely talented squad at his disposal and the French public will already be thinking of the next round.
The importance of winning Group C won’t be lost on Deschamps either, with the runner-up in this group likely to face Argentina in the next round.
France will want to avoid that and should do so. Unfortunately for punters, they are a best-priced 1/3 to win the group with Sky Bet so there’s not much value there.
Detailed overview of Group C
As mentioned, even though France should win the group, this should still be exciting, with Denmark, Peru and Australia all bringing something to the table.
Firstly, the Danes are blessed with one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League with Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen and he is a man who has really stepped up for his country.
Åge Hareide’s men comfortably dispatched Ireland in the play-offs to reach Russia with a 5-1 win in Dublin securing their qualification. However, it was really the Christian Eriksen show, with the Spurs man hitting a hat-trick when his country needed him most.
Therefore, with his quality, and several other good players it must be said, Denmark should be able to give France a game, although beating them looks a tall order.
The likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Pione Sisto and Andreas Christensen are players to watch out for.
Next, Australia’s preparation for the tournament has been far from ideal, with Ange Postecoglou leaving his post as manager after guiding them to Russia.
He was replaced by Bert van Marwijk, with the Dutch manager only in charge for the tournament before Graham Arnold steps in. The former Feyenoord coach is sure to encourage a passing, attacking style of play though which could make the Socceroos a side to watch.
Celtic’s Tom Rogic and Huddersfield’s Aaron Mooy are two of the standout players to watch, who British fans will know very well.
Finally, South Americans Peru make up the final team in this group, who have qualified for the tournament for the first time since 1982.
They had to beat New Zealand to get to Russia in a play-off but they deserve huge credit for managing to get through the extremely tough qualifiers in their own continent. To put their achievement into perspective, Chile, the Copa America holders, failed to qualify for the upcoming tournament.
Yet, things have been complicated for them too since qualifying. Captain and record goalscorer Paolo Guerrero was banned for 12-months after testing positive for cocaine which would’ve put him out the World Cup. However, that was halved on appeal meaning he can play in the huge event which was a major relief for the country.
Runners-Up Prediction: Denmark
This is very tough to call but we will just go for Denmark to edge into second place. The European outfit are a well organised side, boasting some decent players, however unlike Peru and Australia they have one man of genuine, top-class quality – Eriksen.
A lot of responsibility will rest on his shoulders but his form for club and country over recent months suggests it’s something he will relish. And, that perhaps hadn’t always been the case when playing for Denmark.
The contrasting styles between Peru and Denmark make that a particularly exciting game and ultimately it could all come down to whoever wins that match to qualify with France.
However, we’d rather be with Eriksen and the Danes than against, so taking them at 5/4 with Sky Bet to finish second appeals.
Recommended Bet: France to finish first, Australia last – Betway 7/4
We’ve already covered out group winner and second place bets and as you will have gathered, we see second place as a shootout between Peru and Denmark.
Whilst Australia are a committed side who like to play the right way, the reality is they look particularly weak at both ends of the pitch.
For instance, Tim Cahill was a major factor in helping them qualify for the World Cup and whilst we don’t doubt he was a fantastic player, whether they should still be relying on him is very debatable, with the 38-year old currently a sub at Championship Millwall.
They have some technically gifted midfielders but a lack of pace at the back, which could be a real problem against Peru, and no natural goalscorer means picking up points is going to be extremely tough.
Given that, having them to finish bottom with France to top the group looks very appealing at 7/4.