How qualified – Won AFC Playoffs
Best performance – Round of 16 in 2006
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
DEFENDERS: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Blue Wings), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich).
MIDFIELDERS: Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al-Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Tim Cahill (Millwall).
FORWARDS: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian)
How qualified – Via UEFA Playoffs
Best performance – Quarter-finals in 1998
GOALKEEPERS: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Frederik Ronnow (Brondby), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich).
Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux).
Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)
How qualified – Won UEFA Group B
Best performance – Winners in 1998
GOALKEEPERS: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
DEFENDERS: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
MIDFIELDERS: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
How qualified – Won Inter-continental playoff versus New Zealand
Best performance – Quarter-finals in 1970
GOALKEEPERS: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Deportivo Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC).
DEFENDERS: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos Buap), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Atletico Junior), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo), Nilson Loyola (Melgar).
MIDFIELDERS: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos Buap), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz).
FORWARDS: Andre Carrillo (Watford), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia), Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Paolo Guerrero (Flamengo).
- France vs. Australia (11am, BBC)
- Peru vs. Denmark (5pm, BBC)
- Denmark vs. Australia (1pm, ITV)
- France vs. Peru (4pm, ITV)
- Denmark vs. France (3pm, ITV)
- Australia vs. Peru (3pm, ITV4)
Group C is one of the more open groups of the tournament despite France being a comfortable favourite for it. They are widely expected to cruise through but I’m not completely convinced that will be the case. Even if they do Denmark, Peru and Australia will all feel they have genuine chances of following ‘les bleus’ through to the knockout stage. We have four sides who are set up in their DNA to have a go here so we should get some good action over the six matches in this group.
There is only one bet I like in the group and those who have read my main tournament previews will know I’m very keen on Peru and the 13/8 that they qualify from this section is too big for me to ignore. They go into the tournament off the back of a 15 match unbeaten run and came through that South American qualifying section which always has to be respected. Peru have a solid defensive set up and plenty of attacking flair as you would expect from a team in their part of the world and while Denmark and Australia are stern challenges I think Peru are the ones to be on to progress.
I like three team bets in this group. Building on the Peru to qualify bet I think the price on them to make the quarter final is massive. Assuming they do qualify we will already have cash in the bank and then we would be on them at 9/1 to win a last 16 match potentially against Croatia or Argentina or in an ideal world Nigeria or Iceland. They wouldn’t be 9/1 against any of them and they would only be serious underdogs against one of them. 9/1 just to reach the quarter finals, they don’t even need to win it, just win their last 16 match, just looks way out of line to me.
Mile Jedinak wrote himself into Australia folklore when his hat trick against Honduras in the play-off sealed their qualification for this tournament and I fancy he could build on that in this tournament. Australia are very strong at set-pieces and his attacking power is a focal point of that and as a bonus he is on penalty duties should they get any spot kicks. Tim Cahill is the favourite in the top Australia scorer market but he is unlikely to play three full matches at his age. Jedinak should and while there are one or two other contenders the fact Australia are so reliant on their set plays leads me to take the Aston Villa man to be the leading Australian scorer in this tournament.
One more slightly obvious pick is for Christian Eriksen to lead the Denmark scoring in the competition. Denmark are not blessed with a top draw forward these days. Eriksen is the standout player for the Danish side and if they are to have any chance of progressing he must be at his best. They are a side whose defenders could pop up with the odd goal but if Eriksen can find a couple of strikes along the way he should end as the top Denmark goalscorer.
Back Peru to qualify from Group C for a 4/10 stake at 2.63 with William Hill
Back Peru to reach the quarter finals for a 2/10 stake at 10.00 with BetBright
Back them here:
WON – Back M.Jedinak Top Australia Tournament Goalscorer for a 1/10 stake at 8.00 with Skybet
DEAD HEAT – Back C.Eriksen Top Denmark Tournament Goalscorer for a 2/10 stake at 3.10 with Betfair
Back him here: