After topping Group C thanks to a tiresome draw, France are on track to face Argentina in the first knockout round if Lionel Messi can inspire his side to victory against Nigeria, who occupy second spot in Group D. "If you put that into your players' heads there will be passiveness in the team and that's not good".
France, who were already assured of a place in the round of 16, will next face the Group D runners-up, while Denmark face the group winners. "The players worked very hard in the first two matches".
All previous 36 games of the tournament had seen goals but the series ended in a stale affair at Moscow's Luzhniki stadium in which neither side took major risks as the result suited them just fine. This will not be an easy task, considering that the French are arguably one of the most talented squads at this tournament and also one of the favourites to go on and win the event. Denmark, however, can also progress to the next round if Australia fails to register a victory against Peru in the other group C match, which will be also held today.
New-look formations created no serious chances as France's Antoine Griezmann and Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen were unable to lift their team in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,011 which loudly voiced its dissent after the final whistle. After the first game, we said we can play much better than this, but again we were happy that we scored. Didier Deschamps is likely to rest some key players for the tie after narrow victories over Australia and Peru.
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"We are not going to give them a helping hand".
Denmark will be hoping to get a positive result to book their place in the round of sixteen against a France side who are targeting three consecutive wins in the group stages. There will be changes though and I still expect France to be too strong for Denmark.