Tue, Jun 19, 12:39pm by Head Editor
Date and Time: Thursday June 21, 10pm AEST
Venue: Samara Arena, Samara, Russia
After a brave performance against France, the Socceroos now need a result against Denmark on Thursday night if they are to reach the last 16 for the first time since 2006.
With a bit of luck, the 2-1 loss against the French could have gone Australia’s way, with Bert van Marwijk’s men having the unwanted title of the first side to concede a penalty via the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The match was deadlocked at 0-0 in the 58th minute when Paul Pogba played a through ball to Antoine Griezmann, who went down in the box following Joshua Risdon’s challenge. Referee Andres Cunha from Uruguay initially waved away the protest from Griezmann before the VAR reversed the decision, much to the disapproval of the 30,000 Aussie fans inside the stadium, who outnumbered their French counterparts by almost two to one.
Aussie captain Mile Jedinak, who scored the equaliser just four minutes later, was seen talking to his teammates in the middle of the pitch when the final whistle went, no doubt telling the squad that they must move onto Thursday’s clash against Denmark with plenty of confidence.
The Danes scrapped past Peru in their opening match, with a Yussuf Poulsen goal enough to give the Scandinavian’s the three points. Sportsbet has installed Age Hareide’s side at the short priced odds of $1.80 to secure a win that would all but guarantee them of moving into the second round for the first time since 2002.
The green and gold are way out at $4.50, which may represent value given how well the Aussies performed in Kazan on Saturday night (AEST).
The biggest threat to Australia is without doubt Tottenham attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has scored 22 goals from his 78 appearances for his country. The 26-year old had a quiet game against Peru by his lofty standards but he did deliver the key assist to Poulsen.
Aaron Mooy will be in the same area of the park as Eriksen and he was simply brilliant for the Roos against Les Bleus, with many pundits giving him the points over Paul Pogba as the 27-year old consistency won the ball and delivered a number of fine free-kicks.
If Mooy and his skipper Jedinak can have the same influence over the Danish midfield as they didn’t against the French, then Australia can take three points from this one.
Tomi Juric and Josh Risdon missed training on Sunday but all 23 of van Marwijk’s squad were back on the park on Monday for a running session that was run by assistant coach Roel Coumans.
Suggested Bet: Australia to win at $4.50
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Half Time Result
Over/ Under 2.5 goals
Both Teams to Score
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