Denmark vs France – Tuesday, June 26, 15:00BST/16:00CEST/17:00 MSK – Luzhniki, Moscow, Russia
Denmark have it in their own hands. A draw on Tuesday against France and the Danish Dynamite are through to the next round. It would be another significant achievement for the tiny Scandinavian country that has so often impressed on the world’s biggest stage.
The memory of 1992 and Denmark’s victory at the Euros, of course, overshadows everything. But the current crop of players have the talent to achieve something special at the tournament as well. Led by a brilliant Christian Eriksen in midfield and a fantastic Kasper Schmeichel this Denmark side have specialists on every position and the typical Danish spirit to see them get through.
At the same time, the final game against France will not be an easy task in the final group stage match. Twice before the two nations have met on matchday 3 of the World Cup and both times Denmark, however, managed to reach the next round – in 1998 Denmark were eliminated at the quarterfinals and in 2002 at the round of 16.
The matchup is, therefore, a good omen for the Danes. France, in the meantime, have already qualified for the next round. But this very talented side, coached by Didier Deschamps, has thus far failed to impress.
France may have taken the deepest side among all the favourites to this tournament and with the likes of Spain and Germany struggling this could be indeed their year. Victories against Peru and Australia further underline the status of a World Cup favourite, on the other hand, neither games were convincing and Deschamps has been criticised for his boring brand of football.
Hence, France need to deliver a statement game against a Danish side hoping to collect at least a point in their final group stage match. A defeat and Denmark will agonisingly look over to Sochi where Australia and Peru are facing each other, a defeat against France and a victory by Australia and the show ends for Danish Dynamite.
Denmark vs France – Players to look out for:
Kasper Schmeichel #1 – Denmark (Leicester City)
Kasper Schmeichel was excellent against Peru on matchday 1 and then once again on matchday 2 against Australia. The Leicester City keeper is slowly but surely stepping out of the shadow of his famous father, and former Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel. Great on the line and fantastic in controlling his box Schmeichel makes the difference in tight matches. Now on matchday 3 he will face the biggest test yet in the form of a highly talented France attack.
Paul Pogba #6 – France (Manchester United)
The 25-year-old midfielder had the final say during Matchday one, it was his burst into the box, and shot, that led to Les Bleus winning goal. Although originally credited with the strike, it was retrospectively taken off him after the game and awarded as an Australian own-goal. However, his performance was still met with criticism from some French media quarters – leading to his agent, Mino Raiola, to leap to his defence: “He reconfirmed what a big player he is and the importance he has in a team”. That criticism intensified, however, after another lacklustre performance against Peru on matchday 2. For Pogba the time is now to step it up.
Denmark vs France – Match Stats
- France and Denmark have met twice before at the World Cup and both times it was the final match of the group stage. In 1998 France won 2-1 and four years later in 2002 Denmark won 2-0.
- This will be the sixth meeting between the two countries at a major tournament. France have won three of the previous five matches.
- France have won six of the last seven matches between the two countries – their only defeat was the match in 2002.
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Denmark vs France – 2-2
Denmark vs France – Lineups
Schmeichel – Stryger Larsen, Christensen, Kjær, Dalsgaard – Schöne, Delaney – Sisto, Eriksen, Poulsen – Nicolai Jörgensen
Head Coach: Age Hareide
Lloris – Pavard, Varane, Umtiti, Hernandez – Kanté, Pogba – Mbappé, Griezmann, Matuidi – Giroud
Head Coach: Didier Deschamps
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.