World Cup 2018 Group C: Key players to keep an eye on

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France are the clear favourites to top Group C, but they will need to be wary of the danger posed by Denmark.

Didier Deschamps shocked the world by leaving out Premier League duo Anthony Martial and Alexandre Lacazette and will be hoping that those calls don’t come back to haunt his talented side.

Australia and Peru are expected to battle for second place against Denmark, with the Socceroos hoping that the ageing Tim Cahill can pass on his experience to the younger generation of players.

Peru have already been dealt a huge blow prior to the tournament as influential captain and all-time top goal scorer Paolo Guerrero’s doping ban was extended by FIFA, meaning he will miss next month’s tournament.

However, this is Peru’s first World Cup appearance since 1982, meaning this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these players, so they will play with pride, determination and heart.

1) Australia – Matthew Leckie

Mathew Leckie

The Hertha Berlin man can operate anywhere along the frontline and has the pace to get in behind any defence.

Leckie has been a regular starter in the Bundesliga this season and helped his side to 10th place in the table, while also netting in the Europa League. The 27-year-old’s trickery will be crucial for Australia, who have an ageing squad.

Also keep an eye on Celtic playmaker Tom Rogic, whose eye for a long-range strike could be decisive.

2) Denmark – Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen

The Tottenham Hotspur playmaker was the one who inspired Denmark to qualification after bagging a sensational hat-trick in the play-off second-leg against Republic of Ireland.

His club form has been impressive, scoring ten and assisting ten in the Premier League this season to help Spurs qualify for the Champions league.

Denmark will look to Eriksen to unlock some of the world’s best defences and if he continues his club form for his country, then the other teams in the group could be in for some trouble.

3) France – Kylian Mbappe


The 19-year-old has comfortably settled into a starting position at one of Europe’s biggest clubs and has relished the challenge of performing on the big stage.

He scored 21 times for Paris Saint-Germain last season and has won back-to-back Ligue 1 young player of the year awards.

His pace, skill and lethal finishing bring back memories of a certain Thierry Henry and next month is his chance to write himself into the France history books.

4) Peru – Jefferson Farfan

Jefferson Farfan

The Lokomotiv Moscow winger has been in good form in the Russian top flight this season, scoring ten times to help his side win the title for the first time in 14 years.

Farfan is one of the most experienced members of the Peru squad, so they will be looking to him to provide the magic in what is a tough group for the South American side.

The 33-year-old netted four times in the Europa League this season, so is going into the tournament filled with confidence.

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