Denmark vs Australia Preview: Socceroos need a win whilst Danes can qualify in second Group C match

Denmark vs Australia Preview: Socceroos need a win whilst Danes can qualify in second Group C match

In the first World Cup meeting between these two sides, who will come out on top as both chase qualification to the knockout stages?

MollieFirth
Mollie Firth

Denmark face Australia at the Samara Arena in their second game in Group C on Thursday.

Denmark will qualify for the knockout stages with a win, if France also beat Peru, whereas Australia must win here if they are to stay in the knockout qualification race.

What happened in each of the team’s first group games?

Denmark put themselves on the front foot with a 1-0 win over Peru in their Group C opener.

However, the Danes were put under constant threat by the Peruvians, who had a good chance to grab the opener with a penalty in the final minutes of the first half. But, Cristian Cueva couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity, and he sent his spot kick blazing over the bar.

Yussuf Poulsen, who conceded the penalty earlier on, became the second half savoir by slotting home what turned out to be the winning goal.

On the other hand, Australia fell to an unfortunate 2-1 defeat against France.

The Socceroos were probably the better side, and both teams scored a penalty, albeit a dubious one for Les Blues due to VAR. However, an 80th minute Paul Pogba strike meant Australia didn’t earn their well-deserved point.

Team News

Age Hareide’s men are without holding midfielder William Kvist, who will miss the remainder of the tournament after picking up a rib injury in the first half against Peru.

Ajax midfielder Lasse Schone is likely to be the replacement, with that being the only expected change for Denmark

Denmark Predicted Line Up: Schmeical, Larsen, Christiensen, Kjaer, Dalsgaard, Schone, Delaney, Sisto, Poulsen, Jorgenson

It is expected that Bert van Marwijk will remain with a very similar XI that put in an impressive performance against France on Saturday.

They may wish to add more attacking threat, so Tomi Juric may replace Andrew Nabbout up front.

Australia Predicted Line up: Ryan, Behich, Sainsbury, Milligan, Risdon, Jedinak, Mooy, Rogic, Leckie, Kruse, Juric

Head to Head

These two sides have never met in a World Cup before but have played each other in three friendlies between 2007 and 2012.

Denmark came out 3-1 winners and 2-0 winners in the first and last of these games, whilst Australia narrowly won 1-0 in 2010.

Overview

Denmark can come into the game with confidence, despite their lucky win, and they will know how important this game is, with regards to already having three points meaning they can qualify for the knockouts with a game to spare.

Australia, on the other hand, can also take confidence from their performance, as they held one of the pre-tournament favourites for the best part of 80 minutes.

Both teams don’t tend to score many goals, with Australia’s penalty against France being their only shot which tested the keeper.

Australia have a tendency to sit back and observe the pressure, and then look for occasional openings on the counter attack. However, they did give a lot of dangerous set- pieces away for France, and Denmark will be looking to capitalise on this, where the expertise of Christian Eriksen can come into play.

Denmark have a stronger defensive unit, with an exceptional record to go with it – Kasper Schmeichel has gone 534 minutes without conceding a goal. However, the pace and skill of Aaron Mooy, who gave a man of the match performance on Saturday could cause them some problems if he can put in a similar shift.

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