In the build up to France’s game against Australia there was a lot of focus on Les Bleus and a certain curse. In four of the past five World Cup tournaments, the defending champions have been eliminated at the group stage, including France in 2002. The way things started, France will have been worried of falling once again, going 1-0 down to Australia inside 10 minutes.
But the defending champions recovered from their slow start to eventually run out 4-1 winners, thanks to goals from Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappe and a Olivier Giroud brace – which saw the AC Milan man level Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer. Giroud will be hoping he can break that record on Saturday, with France also knowing a win would seal their spot in the last 16 with a game to spare.
Bet365 welcome offer: Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets
Not signed up to bet365 yet? Here's how to claim one of the best bookmaker welcome offers around...
Claim the offer to receive five times your deposit in 'Free Bets'.
To release your 'Free Bets', place qualifying bets to the value of your qualifying deposit and allow those bets to settle.
Your 'Free Bets' will become available shortly after your qualifying bets have settled
To use your 'Free Bets', select 'Use bet credits' in the bet slip.
18+ only. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Before the tournament, Denmark were fancied to qualify for the last 16 alongside France and some were even tipping them to top the group. That’s because when these sides met in the Uefa Nations League earlier this year, Denmark beat France both home and away. But after their first game, Denmark’s qualification hopes remain in the balance.
While not the most damaging result, Denmark’s goalless draw with Tunisia means they do go into this match needing a win to stay in control of their own destiny. Defeat to France, coupled with a Tunisia win over Australia would see Denmark on the brink of exiting, while even a draw may need them relying on other results.
Football matches are no longer 90 minutes, or at least they aren’t at the World Cup. With FIFA being stricter on time wasting, already we’re seen minutes added on at the end of a half reaching double figures. This is more likely to be the case in the second half too, as time is lost to substitutions, with five changes for each team, opening up more opportunity for late goals.
As mentioned, Giroud scored twice against Australia to move level with Henry as France’s all-time top scorers and he will be looking to take the record outright this weekend. Giroud’s two goals came from five shots before he was taken off, already bettering his record from the 2018 World Cup when he failed to have a single shot on target from 13 attempts.