France have played out a difficult training game against an Under-19 club opponent while Denmark have seen one of their key midfielders ruled out of the tournament with an injury.
Plus the latest on Peru in this edition of Opponent Watch.
DAY 29 WRAP: France game dissected as players recover
Denmark will be without one of their key midfielders after William Kvist who suffered a broken rib in their 1-0 win over Peru on Sunday morning AEST.
Kvist was stretchered off in the 36th minute of their first Group C game, having been kneed my Jefferson Farfan in an aerial challenge.
“We think it’s a fractured rib — we’ll have confirmation later on,” said Denmark coach Age Hareide after the game.
“If it’s a fractured rib he’s out for the rest of the World Cup for sure. We cannot replace a player at this point in the tournament, so we’ll be down to 22 if he is out.”
Hareide has since confirmed Kvist has suffered from two broken ribs, one of which punctured his lung, with the 33-year-old sent home to receive treatment.
Kvist, with 77 caps to his name, is one of Denmark’s most experienced players and started 11 of their 12 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers as the Danes came through the European play-offs after finishing second behind Poland in Group E.
France have played a training game against Spartak Moscow Under-19s, just a day after narrowly defeating the Socceroos 2-1.
But with Les Bleus unable to break down Bert van Marwijk’s team, bar for a Video Assistant Referee-awarded penalty and an Aziz Behich own goal, the French have similarly struggled against their underage club opponents.
With the match live streamed on France’s official Facebook page, goals from Olivier Giroud, Nabil Fekir and Blaise Matuidi helped them edge out a 3-2 win.
Playing largely a second string team, with the three goalscorers appearing off the bench against Australia and the entire starting XI from Kazan undergoing a recovery, there is still cause for concern among French supporters.
L’Equipe reported that France players looked physically tired, in part due to the gruelling pre-FIFA World Cup™ training camp they had undertaken at Clairefontaine.
There have also been injury concerns for France to come from the training game against Spartak Moscow Under-19s, with Florian Thauvin forced off with a knee complaint and Fekir having received treatment for a foot injury.
Finally, to end Opponent Watch, here’s a sign of just how much the FIFA World Cup™ means to our Peruvian opposition.
After the national anthems had been belted out ahead of their first game at a FIFA World Cup™ in 36 years, one of the commentators for Peruvian TV struggled to compose himself.
In tears and overawed by emotion, he was helped by a colleague who told him to “take deep breathes and drink water”.
“I broke down... I’m 39 years old now, and never seen Peru at the World Cup,” Coki Gonazales of Latina Television told New York Times journalist Tariq Panja.
“It has been my life’s dream, the most important moment in my life.”