It’s pretty simple for Denmark on Thursday in Russia: If the Danes beat Australia, then they are going to advance out of Group C play. On the flip side, the Aussies probably are toast if they lose a second straight game. Denmark is the soccer betting favorite at MyBookie Sportsbook 2018 World Cup Odds.
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Denmark vs. Australia Game Preview & 2018 World Cup Odds
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) 20 de junio de 2018
- When: Thursday, 8 AM ET
- Where: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
- TV / Stream: Fox Sports 1/Fox Sports Go
- 2018 World Cup Odds: Denmark -118 / Australia +320 / Draw +230 (Total at 2 goals)
Why Bet on Denmark?
- Confederation: UEFA
- Head coach: Åge Hareide
- Captain: Simon Kjær
- FIFA Ranking: 12
The Danes were somewhat fortunate in their 1-0 opening-round win over Peru. Denmark coach Age Hareide credited his defense and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel for preserving the victory but admitted their opponents “probably deserved more” from the game. Schmeichel made six saves and Peru came close to scoring on a number of other opportunities as well.
“They got very little out of this game, they probably deserved more,” Hareide said. “You have to acknowledge the performance of [goalkeeper] Kasper [Schmeichel], but also of our defense, of the whole team. This is our fifth game without conceding a goal. It’s very tough against World Cup opponents.”
Schmeichel now hasn’t conceded a goal in international football for 534 minutes.
Yussuf Poulsen got the decisive goal in the 59th minute. Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen had an otherwise quiet outing but provided the decisive moment when he threaded an immaculate pass through the defense for Poulsen to beat advancing Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese.
Eriksen has scored (12) or assisted (5) 17 goals in his last 14 appearances for Denmark. Poulsen has now scored in his last two appearances for Denmark, with both of those goals being assisted by Eriksen. Poulsen has said that he dedicates all of his goals to his late father, who died of cancer when he was just five years old. It was just Denmark’s second clean sheet across their last 12 World Cup matches (also 2-0 vs France in 2002).
Here’s what Eriksen said about facing the Aussies:
“Being favorites in this World Cup is not fun because we have seen how difficult that can be. We see a lot of teams “parking the bus” so to speak and being very content really only to defend and to open them up I think it’s important that you also have players who have the courage to test the keeper from distance. I saw in the statistics that Denmark have actually never scored a goal from outside the box in World Cup but I certainly plan to rectify that.”
The last encounter between these two nations at senior level was a friendly match in Copenhagen in 2012. Each squad features four players each who took part in that match: Simon Kjaer, William Kvist, Eriksen and Michael Krohn-Dehli for Denmark, and Tim Cahill, Robbie Kruse, Mile Jedinak and Mark Milligan for Australia. Denmark won the match 2-0.
- 1-K. Schmeichel
- 4-S. Kjær
- 14-H. Dalsgaard
- 17-J. Larsen
- 6-A. Christensen
- 7-W. Kvist
- 8-T. Delaney
- 10-C. Eriksen
- 9-N. Jørgensen
- 20-Y. Poulsen
- 23-P. Sisto
Why Bet on Australia?
- Confederation: AFC
- Head coach: Bert van Marwijk
- Captain: Mile Jedinak
- FIFA Ranking: 36
Australia was a 2-1 loser to group favorite France. It was a match of small margins in Kazan, as first, a VAR decision gave France a penalty which was converted by Antoine Griezmann. Mile Jedinak struck from the penalty spot to equalize minutes later, but Paul Pogba’s deflected strike hit the bar and bounced in for a late winner.
“I hoped that maybe one time there would be a very honest referee, and at that moment, that he wouldn’t go to the video screen,” Australia coach Bert van Marwijk said of the VAR penalty that led to the first go-ahead goal. “I saw him standing there. The body language was that he didn’t know, from my position. And then you have to take a decision – France or Australia. I got a lot of reactions, let’s say that out of 10 people seven said it was a penalty and three said no penalty.”
The two penalties scored in the game between France and Australia were only four minutes, seven seconds apart — the shortest period of time between two penalties being scored by different sides in a World Cup match. All four of Australian Mat Ryan’s saves vs France came in the opening eight minutes, with the keeper conceding the next two shots on target faced.
The Socceroos should be heartened by their dogged performance and will be keen to go at least one better against Denmark in Samara. Australia did a great job of making life difficult for Didier Deschamps’ more fancied outfit. But can they minimize and cover their mistakes further in the future? Can they create similar goal-scoring chances in the rare moments to do so at the other end?
Denmark coach Age Hareide on Australia: “They are a bit different to us. We have a few players who are at a higher level than them if you look at the squad’s player by player. But it’s going to be a tight game. If you look at the results during this tournament then it would appear that many of the favorites have a tough time dealing with that role. If you go back two years and look at the matches there, then that was the case there as well. Portugal who ended up winning the tournament didn’t win a single game in the group stages. And a lot of the teams coming outside of Europe are tough to break down; they are very well organized. They leave all the pressure on the favorites because they can play free without pressure.”
- 1-M. Ryan
- 16-A. Behich
- 20-T. Sainsbury
- 19-J. Risdon
- 5-M. Milligan
- 15-M. Jedinak
- 7-M. Leckie
- 13-A. Mooy
- 23-T. Rogić
- 11-A. Nabbout
- 10-R. Kruse
Expert Final Prediction
Denmark 1 – Australia 1