FIFA World Cup 2018 preview: Denmark takes on Australia in crucial Group C clash

While the Danish team comes from a rather shaky win against Peru in its opening match, Australia showed a lot of spirit despite losing to France 0-1.

FIFA World Cup 2018 preview: Denmark takes on Australia in crucial Group C clash

Samara, Russia: Denmark and Australia will lock horns in a crunch Group C contest in which the European side will aim to register their second consecutive win and seal a knockout berth, while the other team will eye survival on Thursday.

Denmark defeated Peru 1-0 in their opener against Peru, thanks to a goal from Yussuf Poulsen, while Australia suffered a 1-2 defeat against the pre-tournament favourites France despite putting up an impressive defensive show.

Denmark's final group stage game is against France. Hence, they will be desperate to register a win against Australia, who will look to ensure that their fate will be decided in the third and final group stage against Peru.

Nobody really gave Australia much of a chance of qualifying from a Group C that contains France, Peru and their next opponents Denmark, and although Bert Van Marwijk`s side gave a good account of themselves against the French, they ultimately ended up with nothing.

Now, Australia face an opponent that has not been beaten for 16 games and has not conceded a goal for five.

The Australian midfield of Mile Jedinak and Aaron Mooy is solid, but they need to make something happen up front for the likes of Andrew Nabbout and Tom Rogic to finish the buil-up play. It will be interesting to see when 38-year-old Tim Cahill will come in to play.

In defence, Aziz Behich, Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon and Mark Milligan and starters.

Denmark were unconvincing in their 1-0 win against Peru, but a win for the Danes in Samara will see them reach knockouts for the first time since 2002.

One of the worry for Denmark that they will be without midfielder William Kvist, who sustained fractured ribs in the first half against Peru. Ajax's Lasse Schone is expected to partner Werder Bremen`s Thomas Delaney, who enjoyed an impressive 2017-18 season in the Bundesliga, in the midfield.

The defence also looks solid with a centre-back pairing of Andreas Bjelland, captain Simon Kjaer and Andreas Cristensen. In goal is Kasper Schmeichel, the son of Manchester United great Peter Schmeichel.

The expected attacking options are Nicolai Jorgensen, Polusen, Celta Vigo`s Pione Sisto and Christian Eriksen, with the latter tasked with creativity.

"We know he (Eriksen) is a fantastic player and obviously he`s got a huge role to play for them," said Australia Mile Jedinak.

"But we`re not trying to focus on that. We'll definitely focus on them as whole and as a collective. We have to worry about ourselves as well, and how we`re going to implement our style on them."

Australia full squad:

Goalkeepers: Matt Ryan (Brighton/ENG), Danny Vukovic (Genk/BEL), Brad Jones (Feyenoord/NED)

Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor/TUR), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos/JPN), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings/KOR), James Meredith (Millwall/ENG), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers Zurich/SUI)

Midfielders: Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa/ENG), Jackson Irvine (Hull/ENG), Robbie Kruse (Bochum/GER), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers/ENG), Mark Milligan (Al Ahli/KSA), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield/ENG), Tom Rogic (Celtic/SCO)

Forwards: Tim Cahill (Millwall/ENG), Tomi Juric (FC Lucerne/SUI), Matthew Leckie (Hertha Berlin/GER), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds/JPN), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian/SCO)

Denmark full squad:

Goalkeepers: Frederik Ronnow (Brondby), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield/ENG), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester/ENG)

Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea/ENG), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford/ENG), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach/GER), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese/ITA), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich/ENG), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield/ENG), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla/ESP)

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham/ENG), Lasse Schone (Ajax/NED), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux/FRA), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna/ESP), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen/GER), Willian Kvist (FC Copenhagen)

Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta/ITA), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax/NED), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux/FRA), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord/NED), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo/ESP), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Yurary Poulsen (RB Leipzig/GER)