World Cup Group C: Huge Upset if France Doesn't Win It

SBR Staff

Monday, April 30, 2018 2:58 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 30, 2018 2:58 PM UTC

France's firepower and World Cup history are unmatched by the other teams in Group C, meaning Australia, Denmark and Peru will likely be battling for the other spot.

Skybook Odds to Advance from Group C
  • France -2000
  • Australia +330
  • Denmark -165
  • Peru +225

France is almost guaranteed to advance from this group that includes Australia, Denmark, and Peru. None of the other teams have anywhere near the firepower that the France possesses, not to mention the history of success in prior World Cups. Historically, France has a 28-12-19 record in the World Cup; the next-best team in this group is Denmark with an 8-2-6 record.

All this really means for your soccer picks is that France is a relative lock for the group of 16, while the other teams will get to duke it out for the other spot, which should make for some good matches in the first stage. Peru and Denmark make the most interesting cases, as they are ranked 11th and 12th in the world by FIFA. Australia meanwhile, is all the way down at No. 40.

Peru is an emerging team in international soccer. Their national team has not qualified for a World Cup since 1982 but recently has had a string of successes, including a third-place finish at the 2015 Copa America and a fifth-place finish in the CONMEBOL qualifying rounds. They are a younger squad -- only four players have more than 50 caps -- and they rely on short passes and possession numbers, much like the early 20th century Peru squads that had success in international competition.

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Can you guess who this week’s One to Eleven video will feature? 🤔

Clue: he enjoyed a very special night in Paris on 12 July 1998!

— FIFA World Cup 🏆 (@FIFAWorldCup) April 30, 2018

Denmark mostly relies on the star power of their cornerstone player, Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur. Eriksen scored eight of Denmark's 20 goals over 10 qualifying games, and will be the main fixture for Denmark in Russia 2018. Behind him will be a very capable squad, as Kasper Schmeichel of Leichster City tends goal for the Danes and Simon Kjaer is a reliable presence on Defense. Denmark is undefeated in their last 11 matches, having compiled a 6-5-0 record over that span.

Australia looks like the odd man out in this group, as they had an up and down qualifying campaign and an aging roster. Although they have competed in the last three World Cups, they haven't passed the group stage since 2006. This time around they will be relying again on 38-year-old star Tim Cahill along with 26-year-old Tomi Juric and Aaron Mooy. Cahill will be playing in his last World Cup, so there will be a farewell-tour flavor to the Socceroo's 2018 run.

Obviously the most interesting part of this group will be watching which team advances along with France, barring any major disasters. The Denmark-Peru game will be key, as the winner of that match has the best chances at grabbing the No. 2 spot in the group. Denmark is a slight favorite on the soccer odds board, according to Skybook. Apart from that game, the group will hinge on Australia being able to pull off an upset against any of these teams. Their best chance to do so is against Peru, where they can use their age and experience against the young Peruvian squad. That game will be the last of the group stage for both of those teams, and depending on what happens prior, could be a pressure-packed must win for the Peruvians.

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