We now know the lineups for two of the eight second-round games as the knockout stage brackets of the World Cup start to take shape.
Tuesday sees the sides from Groups C and D complete their round-robin schedules as two more Round of 16 matchups will be confirmed.
Let’s take a look at the Tuesday’s four final group stage matchups with a little help from our friends at Betsafe.
Denmark vs France, Group C
First plays second in Group C with the Danes sitting in a tricky spot on four points. They’re nicely placed to qualify, but know that defeat France and an Australian win over winless Peru could see them dramatically lose out.
With that in mind, it’s more than likely we’ll see a conservative, defensive lineup from the Danes against the French, who have talent to spare, but haven’t yet caught fire in this tournament.
It would be a disaster for Denmark if they started now.
The Danes aren’t given much of a chance to win by Betsafe’s oddsmakers, who have them as 5.00 shots to get the three points. France look decent value at 2.12, with the draw priced quite short at 2.85.
Given France’s struggles in front of goal so far in this tournament, plus Denmark’s need to keep things tight, it could well be a low scoring game.
Australia vs Peru, Group C
It’s win or go home time for the Socceroos, whose task against the Peruvians on Tuesday is clear – get three points or pack your bags.
Peru were expected to make a better fist of thing in Group C, but have been something of a disappointment in this tournament. They already know they’ll be going home after this game, but with no points and no goals to their name so far, they’ll be going all out to give their passionate fans something to cheer before heading for the airport.
Despite their respective group positions, it’s Peru who are the betting favourites for this one, at 2.32, with the Aussies an attractive-looking 3.15 for a game they simply must win. The draw at 3.65 looks temptingly large, too.
Iceland vs Croatia, Group D
The evening games in Group D may well have us flicking channels constantly as we stay up to date with the action across both games. That’s because all four sides in the group have a chance of qualification.
Croatia are already there, thanks to wins over Nigeria and Argentina earlier in the group stages. But for Iceland, it’s do or die.
The Vikings need to get a win, hope Nigeria lose, but not by so many that Argentina overtake them on goal difference. There are permutations galore in this group, but the most important is that Iceland HAVE to win.
But if you consider that Croatia may rest some of their key players for the next round, the door may be open for Iceland to cause another shock. Can the Thunderclap boys take their amazing fans into the knockout stages?
Nigeria vs Argentina, Group C
This one is undoubtedly the game with the most entertainment potential.
Nigeria know that victory guarantees their passage to the knockout stages, while Argentina need to win, and hope that they do better than Iceland.
If ever there is a time for Lionel Messi to stand up and drag his ailing side into the second round, this is it. The little magician has had a quiet tournament so far, and with creativity and inspiration in short supply among his teammates, much will depend on his performance if Argentina are to stand any chance of qualifying. No pressure, Leo!
As for Nigeria, they looked excellent against Iceland in their last game and finally seem to have hit their stride. They’ll pose Argentina as many problems as they can handle, but will their defence stay disciplined enough against Messi and co? It’s a fascinating clash.
Argentina are almost unbackable favourites at 1.56, but Nigeria are a colossal 6.15 to win the match. Given the two sides’ respective form, that looks highly tempting. The draw is a tasty price, too, at 4.55.