Russia 2018: Group C Betting Guide
Favourites to win group: France at 4/9 with Black Type
Key Fixture: Peru v Denmark in Saransk on 16th June
France arrive here with one of the strongest squads in the tournament and many are tipping Didier Deschamps’ men to claim the trophy at odds of around 6/1 in the outrights. We don’t agree with that theory ourselves but there is enough world class talent in this squad to justify those odds of 4/9 with Black Type to win Group C.
Denmark are the second favourites in this particular market at a top price of 97/20 with MarathonBet, followed by Peru at 11/1 with Black Type and Australia at 26/1 with MarathonBet. The numbers look to be correct but some punters will look at Peru to qualify at best odds of 15/8 with Black Type. The South Americans have impressed and delivered surprise results at previous World Cups but can the 2018 Peruvian vintage upset those markets?
While the Danes may not win the group, they are a very short option to qualify at 4/6 with Sun Bets but they will have to be wary of the Peruvians when they meet in Saransk. This is the opening game of the World Cup for both teams and that can often be the most dangerous time for any nation.
We’ve marked that down as the critical fixture in this section and it’s one where there are odds against prices on all three options. Denmark go into it as favourites at 141/100 with MarathonBet while the draw is on offer at a best of 23/10 with Black Type.
Victory for Peru follows at 59/25 with MarathonBet and those figures suggest we are in for a tense 90 minutes. If Denmark fail to pick up maximum points, they will face a difficult final game against France who go into that particular game as favourites for the win at a top price of just 69/100 with MarathonBet.
Denmark will not want to go into that tie, needing a positive result to progress and that’s why it’s vital that they pick up maximum points when they face Peru.
There will be a lot of attention on France’s Antoine Griezmann at this tournament, particularly as the striker is being tipped for a move away from Atletico Madrid after the World Cup comes to a conclusion.
Griezmann has twenty goals in 54 full internationals but he isn’t the leading scorer in this squad. That accolade goes to fellow striker Olivier Giroud with 31 goals and it will be fascinating to see how coach Deschamps uses a talented set of attackers that also features the promising Kylian Mbappe.
France will also be expecting a strong performance from Paul Pogba who was voted best young player of the tournament in 2014 but key to their success lies with that front line.
In contrast, the Danes’ most important player lies a little deeper down the pitch. Christian Eriksen scored a brilliant hat trick from midfield in the side’s play off match with Ireland but it’s his assists that will be key to Denmark beating Peru and getting out of this group.
As we saw in that match against the Irish, Eriksen can also chip in with vital goals and he has now scored 22 times in 78 full internationals – a record that comfortably makes him the leading scorer in this squad.
Goals could therefore be an issue as all of the forwards in this 23-man group have modest records.
For Peru, it’s easy to identify a key player in Pablo Guerrero. The 34 year old forward is the team captain, their most experienced player and their leading goalscorer with 34 goals in 88 matches. Guerrero plays his football with Flamengo in Brazil and like most of this Peruvian squad, he is therefore employed outside of his own country.
Also under the spotlight is Jefferson Farfan, another striker whose international record is respectable with 25 goals in 83.
Australia complete this section and many football fans around the world will be familiar with Tim Cahill. The 38 year old is without a club right now but he is Australia’s all-time leading scorer with 50 international goals and could still have an important role to play at Russia 2018.
The French side of 2002 surprised us all by crashing out of the group stage but while the country was equally strong 16 years ago, we don’t expect that to happen this time around. There is too much quality ahead of some weaker teams and while Denmark may have the ability to take points off Didier Deschamps’ side, France to win the group seems the most likely outcome.
If you aren’t tempted by those odds of 4/9 on France to win this section, we would suggest looking at individual games in the group as there isn’t too much value in the other outright bets. Denmark should come through in second place but even if you disagree with that theory, Peru to qualify looks too short to be of interest at that 15/8 price.
So we’ll start by focusing on the key game here which is between Peru and Denmark. The Peruvians are an unknown quantity in many ways as they haven’t qualified for the World Cup finals since way back in 1982.
First games in any tournament are often the most likely to cause an upset and because the main priority here is not to lose, we’re backing the draw at that best industry price of 23/10 with Black Type.
Then it’s on to the final set of games and we’re looking at France v Denmark. We’re looking for the Danes to get out of this group, even if it may come down to goal difference over Peru. The French are a very short-priced option to win here but, on what we think will be a difficult evening for Denmark, we’re concluding this group by tipping France to win to Nil which is available at 81/50 with MarathonBet.
- Denmark v Peru: The Draw at 23/10 with Black Type
- France v Denmark: France to win to Nil at 81/50 with MarathonBet