France and Denmark meet today at the Luzhniki Stadium in the final round of fixtures in Group C. With two wins from as many matches, France have already qualified for the Round of 16 but would want to either win or draw the match against Denmark so that they can finish top of the table. Denmark's situation is more complicated and they must either beat France or draw with them. However, they can still qualify even if they lose although Peru must either beat or draw with Australia in the other Group C match.
Full time analysis:
It was one of the worst games of football played in World Cup 2018. Both the teams were happily guarding their status quo in the Group standings as the crowd jeered from the stands. No efforts, absolutely no efforts were made by most players of the both teams to make it interesting. It took only the 82nd minute before either goalkeeper was tested. It should be shame for football fans to have ever witnessed a game like this at this stage of the World Cup. This was not the kind of gameplay that a fan expects from the teams that have qualifed for the knock-out stage of the most prestegious tournament of the game.
Fifa should refund the ticket price to the crowd who were Waiting for Godot.
Denmark vs France: Highlights
Min 85: Olivier Giroud goes to ground while trying to control a low cross with Simon Kjaer on his back. There’s a half-hearted appeal for a penalty, and nobody is interested in the claim.
Min 82: Nabil Fekir has the second chance at the goal. Fekir forces Schmeichel to make a save with a low drive from distance.
Min 77: Dembele makes way for Mbappe. This is third and last substitution for France. Paying crowd at Luzhniki Stadium jeering for both the teams and asking to make some real effort. Both the teams are not eying the Golden Boot.
Min 74: Second change for Denmark, Dolberg replaces Cornelius. This is one of the most boring second halfs in the World Cup 2018. Looks like both the teams are happy with the group standings.
Min 70: Seems like Nabil Fekir means business here.He picks up the ball on the inside left channel, unleashes a curling shot that hits the side-netting.
Min 69: France substitution: Nabil Fekir on for Antoine Griezmann. This is France's second change.
Min 62: Delaney wins a corner for Denmark. Eriksen shoots the ball into the penalty area and Mandanda clears the ball through a punch.
Min 59: Denmark substitution: Viktor Fischer on for Pione Sisto
Min 54: Denmark wins a free-kick. Eriksen takes the free kick and sends the ball into the penalty area, where Mandanda gathers the ball at the second attempt. Ericksen had the kick from 34 yards.
Min 51: Peru doubles lead against Australia. That's a good news for Denmark, they look certain to advance to the knockout stages.
Min 50: France substitution: Benjamin Mendy on for Lucas Hernandez.
Min 47: Giroud wrestles with Zanka and goes down into Danish penalty area. Olivier asks for a penalty from refree and in return get penalised.
Min 46: Denmark gets the ball rolling. No changes reported from both the teams.
Half time analysis:
There is nothing much to say about the first half apart from few booking. France dominated the possession of the ball from starting. Denmark failed to give their most creative players like Ericksen and Sisto chances in the first half. There was no much threat to Danish defence. Ericksen had the best chance of scoring a goal in the first half. Denmark should involve Ericksen more into the game if they want to get something out of this game.
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Min 45+2: Griezmann gets the ball and races towards the Danish box and tries to find Demeble, Zanka takes him down and gets himself booked for his trouble. Refree blew the whistle without giving France the free kick. That's quite unusual and harsh.
Min 45: Two minutes of stoppage time has been added.
Min 43: Lemar chips a ball directly to Greizmann, who passes it to Giroud. Giroud sends the ball towards the goal but it goes over the bar. And finally linesman calls Griezmann off side.
Min 38: Dembele dances his way towards the right wing and passes a precise ball to Griezmann. Griezmann takes a touch, turns and shoots on the goal but Kasper Schmeichel is all ready for that one.
Min 34: Ousmane Dembele cuts inside on his right and unleashes a shot real hard. Ball goes wide.
Min 29: Delaney fights off a challenge and slips a pass to Cornelius down the left wing. The striker clips the ball towards the penalty box and Eriksen races onto it, but Mandana closes the space and dodges the Ericksen danger.
Min 26: Lemar takes the free kick and floats the ball into the mixer. Takes a clearance touch from Kjaer and France gets a corner. Christensen clears the ball.
Min 19: France continue to dominate the possion but there is no penetration from their attack. Deamark move forward but Cornelius has no answer for Lemar's pace on the right wing.
Min 16: France get their first corner of the game.Giroud goes down in Denmark's box after Hernandez tackle. He claims a penalty. France has been given a corner. Varane heads the ball wide.
Min 12: Denmark is looking brilliant when they come forward. France is trying to set a rhythmn. They are dominating the possession. French side playing mostly in their own half.
Min 8: France gets the ball into the Danish penalty area and Griezmann cross from the right. Schmeichel claims it comfortably.
Min 5: Braithwaite wins a corner for Denmark. Nothing comes off it. Denmark's Kjaerappeals for a corner. Refree is unmoved.
Min 3: Denmark gets the first chance of the match. Martin Braithwaite goes down in the penalty area after dodging two French defenders. Denmark ask for a penalty. But refree is not intersted.
Min 1: Kick-off. France gets the ball rolling. They have the possesssion of the ball.Peeeeeeeep. Players are out of the tunnel. The anthems are being played.
Denmark (3-4-3): Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen; Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Stryger Larsen, Henrik Dalsgaard; Martin Braithwaite, Andreas Cornelius, Pione Sisto
Substitutes: Nicolai Jorgensen, Michael Krohn-Dehli, Lasse Schone, Jonas Knudsen, Jonas Lossl, Jannik Vestergaard, Viktor Fischer, Frederik Ronnow, Lukas Lerager, Kasper Dolberg
France (4-2-3-1): Steve Mandanda; Presnel Kimpembe, Raphael Varane, Lucas Hernández, Djibril Sidibe; N'Golo Kante, Steven N'Zonzi; Thomas Lemar, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele; Olivier Giroud
Substitutes: Hugo Lloris, Blaise Matuidi, Adil Rami, Paul Pogba, Alphonse Areola, Samuel Umtiti, Florian Thauvin, Benjamin Mendy, Nabil Fekir, Corentin Tolisso, Benjamin Pavard, Kylian Mbappe
France National Team. (Photo: @equipedefrance Twitter)
Match Preview: Both Denmark and France have been underwhelming in their performances despite the fact that the two teams have faced much-lower ranked teams in the tournament.
France do have six points from two matches but they have just managed the wins despite failing to perform at the level a team of their talent should be performing. In the first match against Australia, France got a penalty and a deflected goal to see off Australians in a 2-1 win. Their second game wasn't a class either with Kylian Mbappe scored the lone goal of the match. The French squad for the FIFA World Cup 2018 has been assessed as the most valuable in the tournament. But their performances haven't reflected that.
Denmark (Photo: Reuters)
Denmark aren't doing any better either. They do sit second in the points table but they could score only one goal vs Peru who missed a penalty in the first half. In their second match, they could only manage a draw against a resilient Australia. Christian Eriksen scored a fantastic half-volley in the match but that was about it as far as good things are concerned from Denmark's point of view.
Denmark coach Age Hareide has said his critical remarks of France were "taken out of context". Hareide gave a withering assessment of France in the run-up to the tournament, claiming they were "nothing special" and that they lacked a "leader such as Zinedine Zidane".
"First of all these were things taken out of context," Hareide said in Moscow on Monday. "If you'd read the whole article you would have seen I was comparing with the '98 team..the best version of France we have ever seen," he said.
-- Presnel Kimpembe is only the fourth French player to get his first start with France in a World Cup at the 21st century. (Source: OptaJoe)
Players to watch out for:
France: Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann
-- Denmark and France have met twice in the World Cup, both in the final of game of the group stages -- France won 2-1 in 1998 and Denmark won 2-0 in 2002.
-- Denmark and France are meeting at a sixth major tournament after Euro 1984, Euro 1992, World Cup 1998, Euro 2000 and World Cup 2002. France went on to win three of those five previous tournaments.
-- Denmark haven't lost a single match in any of the competition since October 2016.
-- Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 18 goals in his last 15 appearances for Denmark (13 goals, 5 assists).
France vs Denmark: When and where to watch for free
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
In today's Group C match, France vs Denmark match will take place in Lazhniki Stadium on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 07:30 PM (IST).
Denmark Expected playing 11
Kasper Schmeichel; Henrik Dalsgaard, Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Jens Stryger-Larsen; Lasse Schone, Thomas Delaney; Martin Braithwaite, Christian Eriksen, Pione Sisto; Nicolai Jorgensen
France Expected playing 11
Steve Mandana; Djibril Sidibe, Raphael Varane (C), Samuel Umtiti; Benjamin Mendy; Steven N'Zonzi, Corentin Tolisso; Thomas Lemar, Nabil Fekir, Antoine Griezmann; Olivier Giroud