Today at the World Cup: Thursday June 21

The second round of World Cup group matches continues on Thursday with Argentina looking for their first win of the competition.

Denmark and Australia kick off the day when they meet in Group C (1pm), with the Danes winning their opening match against Peru, who face France at 4pm in Yekaterinburg.

The day concludes at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium where Argentina will be hoping for their first win after drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their opening match as they take on Croatia – who beat Nigeria 2-0 on Saturday.

Each morning during the tournament we’ll bring you an overview of what’s coming up that day. Here’s what you can expect on Thursday…

World Cup fixtures
World Cup venues

Who’s playing today?

Denmark v Australia (Group C) – Samara Arena, 1pm

France v Peru (Group C) – Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg, 4pm

Argentina v Croatia (Group D) – Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, 7pm

What’s the deal?

0:32 France beat Australia 2-1 in their opening Group C game and they will look to double their points tally when they take on Peru on Thursday

Denmark can book their place in the last 16 if they beat Australia on Thursday, having already picked up a 1-0 victory against Peru in their opening Group C game on Saturday, although it was a tight encounter.

They will be joined by France in the knockout stages if Les Bleus can also defeat Peru, although Ricardo Gareca’s men gave a good account of themselves against the Danes and will be hoping to register some points on the board against a France side who looked out-of-sorts during their win against Australia.

Argentina are searching for their first World Cup 2018 victory after drawing their opening game against Iceland and will be looking towards captain Lionel Messi for inspiration. They take on a Croatia side who swept aside fellow Group D hopefuls Nigeria with a 2-0 win on Saturday and will be the more confident of the sides heading into the game.

Three to watch

1:37 We take a look at Denmark's talisman Christian Eriksen's best moments from the Premier League last season

Christian Eriksen: The Tottenham playmaker was the creative spark for Denmark in their win against Peru, setting off the move that saw Yussuf Poulsen score the winner and nabbing an assist for his efforts. There’s no doubting that Eriksen will once again be at the epicentre of the attacking play for the Danes, and Australia will surely be looking to restrict his talents.

Paul Pogba: There is always plenty of spotlight on Pogba but he answered the call for France when he was needed, netting the late winner against Australia, even if a helping hand from VAR was needed. Peru had plenty of chances against Denmark and while France will remain the favourites, Pogba may need to call on his more defensive skills on Thursday.

Sergio Aguero: Another Premier League player to have found the back of the net at the World Cup already, Aguero scored a great strike during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Iceland, in a game where other prolific attackers in the side were largely kept quiet. Having scored his first ever World Cup goal, the Man City striker will surely be hungry for more against the tricky task of Croatia.

Also look out for…

Cahill to join the club?

Many fans have been calling for Australia’s top scorer Tim Cahill to feature against Denmark after he was left on the bench against France. The 38-year-old will be aiming to join an elite club with four other players who have scored in four straight editions of the World Cup.

With his hat-trick against Spain in Portugal’s opener, Cristiano Ronaldo joined the group. Others who have goals in four consecutive World Cups include Brazilian legend Pele and Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.

100 up for Lloris

While some positions may be up for grabs in France’s squad, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is expected to take up the gloves once again barring any last-minute injuries.

If he features, the Tottenham stopper will earn his 100th cap for the national team and will become the first goalkeeper to reach this milestone for France.

Nizhny Novgorod floods

Argentina and Croatia will go head to head at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, with the Russian city hit with flash floods on Tuesday after some fierce thunderstorms, and it could have an effect on the pitch.

Some locals had to be rescued from their cars as the waters rose quickly, with England’s second Group G game against Panama to take place at the stadium on Sunday.

What’s happening with England?

After a day off on Wednesday, England will be back in training this morning before a player press conference at 1.30pm BST.

Stat of the day

Lionel Messi has scored in each of his two previous appearances against Croatia, including his first ever goal for Argentina (March 2006).

On this day

Michael Owen gave England the lead against Brazil at the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in Shizuoka, Japan but goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldinho – a free-kick from over 40 yards which beat David Seaman – saw 10-man Brazil into the semis against Turkey.

Source.