With affairs for Group A and B settled in dramatic fashion, even more, drama and delirium await as nations in Group C and D make their move to secure qualifications for themselves in what could arguably be one of the most interesting nights in the World Cup’s Group Stage history.
Denmark vs France
The Frenchmen are already qualified for the knockout stages although a draw or a win in this game would ensure that they top the group. As for coach Age Hareide’s Denmark, a point would be enough to seal qualification, though a loss would mean their fate would be dependent on the outcome of the other game in the group.
Watch out for Olivier Giroud – the Chelsea forward was instrumental in the last victory over Peru, and the Danes will be aware of his eye for goal against them as he has scored each of France’s last three goals against the Scandinavian nation.
Australia vs Peru
Peru’s World Cup is well and truly over and this match is all about playing for pride for the South American country, while Australia will need a win as well as a French win in the other game if they hope to make it to the next round. This could very well turn out to be a dismal game as Australia haven’t kept a clean sheet in 12 previous matches, while Peru are winless in 8 World Cup games. But you never know where you could find quality!
Watch out for Aaron Mooy – the Australian midfielder has had a fine season in the Premier League, and will be hoping to pull the strings to good effect again as the Socceroos hope to not only win but also improve on their goal-difference to have a shot at qualifying ahead of Denmark.
Iceland vs Croatia
Iceland face the most improbable task as a win is necessary for them to advance. It is of course easier said than done as the already qualified Croatia have been in great form and would already be high on confidence after that 3-0 humiliation of Argentina. The Croatians would be content with even a point though as it would be enough to top the group.
Watch out for Ivan Rakitic – after a couple of masterful displays in controlling the midfield alongside Luka Modric, Rakitic would once again be the fulcrum for most Croatian attacks and the most dangerous from set-pieces for Iceland.
Nigeria vs Argentina
The end to the drama of this group will be scripted mostly in this match as a draw is all Nigeria would need to qualify (provided Croatia win against Iceland) and thus knock the mighty Argentinians out. As for the hugely underperforming Argentina, a win is necessary but so is winning big as an Iceland win in the other game would mean that it all comes down to goal difference.
Watch out for Lionel Messi – after being abysmal in the first two games and his country once again relying on him for some magic, was there ever a doubt who everyone would have their eyes on in this game? We know he can step up in big games, let’s hope for his nation’s sake that this turns out to be one of them!