FIFA World Cup Day 8 Predictions Including Argentina vs Croatia

Group C at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will complete match day 2 while Group D will begin match day 2 on Thursday. Our panelists review the matchups and offer their predictions.

Denmark vs Australia (Thursday in Samara)

Steen Kirby: With two sides in this group sitting on 3 points (Denmark and France), both Australia and Peru will be looking for the 3 point win rather than the draw in their matches. The Aussies fought valiantly only to go down against France via a crossbar deflection and they won’t be scared by the Danes in this one. That said, Denmark has enough talent to get over the line here, especially with such a strong player between the sticks in Kasper Schmeichel. Denmark 1-0

John Bava: Denmark won its opening group match for the 1st time since 2002. But they were the beneficiaries of plenty of missed opportunities on Peru’s part. They face an Australia team which gave group favorites France all they could handle. This feels like a game where the two opponents ultimately share the spoils. 1-1 draw

Manuel Traquete: A win for Denmark would guarantee a place in the last 16, but Australia are also in the running after a very encouraging opening match performance against France. The Danish are favorites here, but not by much, it should be a very close match. 1-1 draw

France vs Peru (Thursday in Yekaterinburg)

Steen; France is clearly better than Peru but after a relatively stressful outing against the Aussies on match day 1, anything is possible for Les Bleus. Peru can create opportunities, but after failing to get something from the Denmark game, I’m not sure how they get past an even tougher opponent. 1-0 France

John: It was a tale of missed opportunities for Peru in their first World Cup match since 1982. La Blanquirroja could’ve easily taken all three points but ended up falling to Denmark. Their task gets much tougher against France with Didier Deschamps’ men looking to turn in a more convincing performance after narrowly defeating Australia in the opener. 3-1 France

Manuel: Peru were very impressive in the opening match, but despite their great play and lots of chances created they couldn’t convert and succumbed to a painful 0-1 loss vs Denmark. France on the other hand were far from impressive but they won. Ultimately the superior quality and experience of the French players like likely to prevail again. France 2-1

Argentina vs Croatia (Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod)

Steen: Argentina struggled against UEFA side Iceland, who parked the bus after getting a goal and held Lionel Messi and co. to a draw on match day 1. Croatia got the 3 points against Nigeria and even without a win, if they draw here they are likely going to reach the knockout stages. Argentina has more “talent” but they haven’t played like it for a while, and Croatia is better than Iceland in my estimation. Accordingly I’ll back the upset if Croatia can pressure the Argentine backline in a manner that Iceland simply could not. Croatia 2-1

John: Argentina looked far from a side capable of winning this tournament against debutants Iceland. A listless performance from Lionel Messi and company condemned them to a draw in a game they were expected to win thoroughly. Things don’t get easier against a Croatia squad riding high after a convincing 2-0 win over Nigeria. If Jorge Sampaoli deploys a tactical setup conducive to unleashing Messi and the Argentinian attack around goal, they can rebound in this game. Argentina 2-1

Manuel: Croatia are clearly a much superior team, a better collective that play coherent football as opposed to the dumpster fire that is the Argentinian National Team. But in Lionel Messi Argentina have the best player who ever played this sport and sometimes that is enough to overcome everything else. Argentina 2-1

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