Match day thirteen of the tournament in Russia have arrived. It arrives with 4 different matches on display. But before match day thirteen arrived, there was match day twelve. It saw Uruguay claim 3 points against Russia to top Group A and Egypt exiting the tournament after losing to Saudi Arabia. The second double fixture saw Spain and Portugal draw with Morocco and Iran respectively to place 1st and 2nd in group B.
The last round of matches in the Group stage continues today with Group C and D. In Group C Australia play Peru whiles Denmark host France. Nigeria play Argentina whiles Iceland host Croatia in the Group D fixtures. The matches will be exciting and entertaining like yesterdays because they will determine which nation qualifies.
MATCH DAY THIRTEEN: AUSTRALIA VS PERU.
Australia against Peru is the 1st match of the day. The two sides will face-off at the Fisht Olympic Stadium at 3pm UK time. A win for Australia might keep them in the competition if Denmark loses against France. This match is of no importance to Peru. Today’s match will be the 1st meeting between the two sides.
Australia have recorded 2 wins, 2 draws and a defeat in their last 5 matches, the 1-1 draw with Denmark their last result. Peru on the other hand have produced 2 wins, a draw and 2 loses from that same run. Peru are facing an Oceania side for the 1st time in the world cup. Both teams possess similar quality of players. I expect Australia to win this match although it will be a keenly contested affair.
MATCH DAY THIRTEEN: DENMARK VS FRANCE.
The 2nd match in Group C to be played today is the match between Denmark and France. The match will be played at Luzhniki Stadium at the same time as the Australia-Peru match. Denmark needs a draw to qualify assuming Australia wins against Peru. France on other hand have already qualified for the next stage of the competition. Denmark and France are meeting in the world cup for the 3rd time. Both teams have won once in the previous two occasions.
Denmark have produced 2 wins and 3 draws in their previous 5 matches, the latest result being the 1-1 draw with Australia. France have also recorded 4 wins and a draw in that run, their 1 nil win over Peru the latest result. Denmark have lost 4 of their last 5 world cup matches against fellow European sides. This match will be a cagey encounter but I tip Denmark to come out with something. A draw or a win will be theirs at the end of 90 minutes.
MATCH DAY THIRTEEN: NIGERIA VS ARGENTINA.
One of the Group D matches will see Nigeria face-off with Argentina. The match will take place at the Krestovsky Stadium at 7pm UK time. Nigeria are facing Argentina for the 5th time in the world cup and 9th time overall. Argentina have won all their world cup meetings against Nigeria but lost their last match (friendly). A win or draw for Nigeria will see them through to the next round whiles only a win will do for Argentina.
Nigeria have generated a win and 4 loses in their past 5 matches, with the win coming in their last match against Iceland. Argentina on the other hand have produced a win, a draw and a loss in their last 5 matches with 2 matches cancelled. All 6 of Nigeria’s win at the world cup have come against European sides. Argentina are without a win at this year’s world cup.
The statistics are not in favor of Nigeria and Argentina have a much better team. I still however see Nigeria coming out of this match with at least a point. It will be the 1st time they have done so but I expect their friendly win over them coupled with their form to push things in their favor. It won’t be an easy match though but the neutrals should enjoy it.
MATCH DAY THIRTEEN: ICELAND VS CROATIA.
The match between Iceland and Croatia is the 2nd match in Group D. It will take place at the Rostov arena at the same time as the Nigeria-Argentina match. Iceland and Croatia have met 6 times in the past. Of those matches Croatia have won 4, drawn 1 and lost 1. This match will be their 7th meeting. Iceland can only qualify if they win and the other match result in a win for Argentina albeit with a small goal difference. Croatia have already qualified for the next round.
Iceland are without a win in their last 5 matches’ whiles Croatia have won 4 and lost 1 of their past 5 matches. Iceland finished above Croatia in their qualifying Group but a win for Croatia will see them top Group D. Croatia have never finished top of their Group in any of their world cup campaigns. Though Croatia will most likely rest players to avoid suspension they should still have enough quality in the side to beat Iceland.
RUSSIA 2018: LAST GROUP STAGE MATCHES.
I have made my analysis and predictions on the last round of matches in the Group C and D encounters. Read carefully and comment on it in the comment section. Share your opinions on it using the information above if you disagree as well.
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