With Australia on the cusp of their first Round of 16 appearances since 2006, their final group tie clash against Denmark will prove to the one of the nation’s biggest football fixturing.
After an inspiration 1-0 victory over Tunisia, the Socceroos currently sit second on the table and are right in the box seat to progress out of the group. And while just a draw could send them through to the knockout rounds if the result goes their way in the France v Tunisia game, the Aussies will be out to take all three points and make a certainty of their fate.
Having repeated their efforts from matchday one, the Aussies went 1-0 courtesy of an early goal, this time Mitch Duke the scorer, giving them a two-point game heading into the final clash.
Denmark will also be looking to take three points. Still an outside chance of making it out the group, they will also be desperate for a win.
The Aussies will come into the clash fancying their chances, following two encouraging performances and coming into the game with momentum with the aforementioned win over Tunisia.
Having looked shaky against the French, having four goals shipped past them, the defence was far sturdier led by Harry Souttar who was influential in the side’s win. Having conceded 23 shots on goal against France, the Aussies conceded nine less against the Tunisians, looking more comfortable playing deeper than in their first tie.
They also looked more adventurous and willing to take the game on, registering nine shots on goal as opposed to just the four they registered against France.
Playing deep while also still managing to create their chances, it’s something they’ll be hoping to replicate against the Danes.
Denmark meanwhile will be looking to bounce back after going down 2-1 France in their last match. Having taken just one point from their first two games despite coming into the tournament as the dark horses, the Danes are still alive heading into their final fixture despite being underwhelming thus far.
Kasper Hjulmand’s side are a side which like to attack and press high, with the use of high attacking full-backs and dynamic midfield trademarks. However they haven’t looked the same side they looked in qualifying and the UEFA Nations League. Though have one last game to turn things around.
Ones to watch
One of the best midfielders in Europe on his day, central midfielder Christian Eriksen is the workhorse of the side and arguably the team’s most important player. The 30-year-old has made a remarkable comeback to football. His ability to push forward and attack and track back and regain possession is something the Aussies will need to be weary of.
Fellow midfielder Pierre-Emile Højbjerg will be also one to watch, and while the 27-year-old may not have the flashiness of Eriksen while in possession, he’s an incredibly hard working midfielder who is crucial to his side’s set up.
Having been a rock in defence for the Socceroos this campaign, Harry Souttar will be one to watch. In addition to his strength and physicality, Souttar covers the pitch incredibly well with his endurance a rarity for a player his size, and is very rarely caught out of position. A great tackler, he’s got all the tools to lead the Aussies from the back.
Arguably Australia’s answer to Eriksen, Aaron Mooy will be one the Danes will be hoping to keep quiet. One of the side’s most advanced midfielders, Mooy is clinical while in possession and will be driving force for the side in attack.