Quibbl World Cup 2018: Some Context before Thursday’s games

Denmark vs. Australia, Group C, 2nd Match, 8AM

Some context: A win for Denmark and they’re through to the final 16, after defeating Peru 1-0 in their opening match. Denmark has won their last five matches. Australia lost their first fixture vs. France, 2-1, but the game could have gone either way and the Socceroos should be encouraged by their effort. This is a winnable game for Australia, and they need it.

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France vs. Peru, Group C, 2nd Match, 11AM

Some context: France leads the group after escaping the Australia game with a win, though the shaky performance certainly didn’t persuade anyone that they’re ready to win a World Cup. Didier Deschamps’ squad looked sluggish throughout, and greatly benefited from a controversial VAR review. Peru also disappointed in their first game, only they came out with a loss to Denmark. Even weirder, national hero Paolo Guerrero was on the bench for that one, despite the fact that the entire country worked to get him in the World Cup.

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Argentina vs. Croatia, Group D, 2nd Match, 2PM

Some context: Argentina is looking to rebound from a 1-1 draw to Iceland, that Fox announcer John Strong correctly called as a win for Iceland, at least in spirit. Croatia wasn’t in their best form either in their first game, but lucky for them, Nigeria was worse.

But let’s be real: the story of this (and every Argentina) game is Lionel Messi, who’s first week of his (possibly) last chance to triumph at World Cup did not go exactly as planned. He’s taken a steady stream of heat following what some considered to be a subpar performance vs. Iceland, all of which has to burn a little more considering Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 4th goal of the tournament this morning. How will Messi and Argentina respond?

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