Denmark and Australia clash on Wednesday in what is a straight shootout for second spot in Group D.

France’s victory over the Danes secured Les Bleus’ spot in the last 16 of the World Cup, while the Socceroos triumphed over Tunisia to jump into second.

Tunisia will need victory over France – a tall order at the best of times – to go through, but right now it’s Australia who hold the edge and avoiding defeat to Denmark would likely seal their route through to the knockout stages.

Here’s what you need to know about the game ahead of kick off.

Denmark vs Australia H2H Results (Last Four Results)

Current Form (Last Five Games)

Denmark team news

Having taken just one point from their first two games, Denmark know anything less than a win here will result in elimination.

They need more firepower up front, scoring only once through Andreas Christensen through a set piece. Andreas Cornelius has been poor so far and a more aggressive approach utilising both Martin Braithwaite and Kasper Dolberg instead may yield more success.

Thomas Delaney is out for the remainder of the tournament with a knee injury.

Denmark Starting 11 (3-4-1-2): Schmeichel; Andersen, A. Christensen, Nelsson; Kristensen, Hojbjerg, Eriksen, Maehle; Damsgaard; Braithwaite, Dolberg.
Bench: Lindstrom. Cornelius, Norgaard, Bah, Kjaer, Wass, Skov, Poulsen, Larsen, Jensen, Wind, Skov Olsen, O. Christensen.

Australia team news

Graham Arnold isn’t likely to tamper with the starting XI that beat Tunisia. Mitchell Duke scored the winner with an excellent header and the Socceroos will continue to whip balls into the middle for their Fagiano Okayama striker to attack.

Familiar faces like Mathew Ryan, Harry Souttar and Aaron Mooy are also expected to retain their spots as Australia target qualification.

Australia Starting 11 (4-4-2): Ryan; Karacic, Souttar, Rowles, Behich; Leckie, Irvine, Mooy, Goodwin; Duke, McGree.
Bench: Vukovic, Wright, Devlin, Cummings, King, Redmayne, Tilio, Deng, Kuol, Baccus, Hrustic, Degenek, Maclaren, Mabil.

This game is so exciting because it’s essentially a straight knockout game. In any other environment Denmark would be clear favourites, but Kasper Hjulmand’s side have spluttered so far while the Socceroos have impressed, even if they were thumped by France.

The Danes must win and will finish second if Tunisia draw or lose to France. After that, it gets sticky – if Denmark and Tunisia both win, second place will be decided by goal difference and then goals scored.

For Australia, the task is more simple; win and they are through. A draw will also be good enough if Tunisia fail to beat France.

There may not be any fingernails left once the game finishes at Al Janoub Stadium, but Denmark have performed when it mattered in recent tournaments and are favourites to win and progress.

Prediction: Denmark 1-0 Australia


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