Denmark v Australia: The secret to Socceroos success against Danes

Australia's hopes of World Cup progression will be dashed by defeat, but a win and not a draw must be the priority

The Socceroos must find a way to defeat Denmark when the pair clash in Samara, with Australia's hope of progressing to the round of 16 dependent on a positive result.

Assistant coach Mark van Bommel has warned the Danes pose an even greater challenge than the French and recent results suggests he's not wrong.

Denmark started their World Cup campaign with a somewhat fortunate 1-0 win over Peru to extend their undefeated streak to 16 games and also ensure they haven't conceded in five straight matches.

The Danes last loss was back in November 2016 when Montenegro snuck a surprise 1-0 win on Danish soil and it'll be a match Bert van Marwijk would have undoubtedly examined closely.

What the Socceroos coach would have found is that Denmark dominated. From having 67 percent of possession to taking four times more shots, the red and white should have comfortably walked away winners.

And yet a strike from Fatos Bećiraj in the 31st minute, with Montenegro's one shot on target, ensured the Danes suffered a costly defeat.

It's a situation the Socceroos will be hoping to potentially replicate with Denmark backed to dominate play, but Australia capable of frustrating in the final third.

Denmark v Australia

After a superb defensive performance against France, the Socceroos showed they can keep the world's best at bay and the Danes have shown limited ability up front.

Denmark have in fact never scored a World Cup goal outside of the box and are without striker Nicklas Bendtner in Russia.

In their past six games, the Danes have scored just four goals, held to 0-0 draws with Chile and Sweden.

An obvious man Australia must shut down is Tottenham's Christian Eriksen, who has had a hand in 17 goals in his last 14 appearances for Denmark. 

But striker Yussuf Poulsen is another, and is looking to score for a third straight game after finding the back of the net against Peru and Mexico.

Should they keep the Danish attack at bay, the Socceroos must then make the most of their forays forward.

Up against Kasper Schmeichel, who hasn't conceded a goal for Denmark in 534 minutes, Australia simply can't be wasteful in the final third.

Kasper Schmeichel

Peru were on Saturday, missing a penalty and putting 9 of their 17 shots off target.

A clinical Socceroos performance is a must and a draw could very easily be turned into a win from the penalty spot.

While burned by VAR against France, Australia were awarded a penalty of their own with Mile Jedinak stepping up to convert and ensure he's still never missed a penalty in his career.

It's an extraordinary stat and one you'd back the skipper maintaining should the opportunity present itself against Denmark - a genuine chance considering the high volume of spot kicks given in Russia to date.

The world rankings suggest this game should be beyond the reach of the Socceroos, but as they've already shown in Russia, they are capable of punching above their weight.

Should they remain solid defensively, taking out Denmark's target men in the process, and take their chances up front, Australia can taste success in Samara. 

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