Group C features France, Australia, Peru and Denmark. Here’s our preview of each team and whether they’ll progress through the group stage or not.
World Ranking: 9
Star Player: Antoine Griezmann
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Best Finish: Winners 1998
France come into the tournament as one of the favourites and they’ve left a number of quality players out of the squad. However, the reality is that coach Didier Deschamps is under huge pressure to deliver success, following their poor performance in the final at Euro 2016 where they were also the host nation. They failed to beat Belarus and Luxembourg in qualifying, which suggests that this team isn’t as good in reality as they are on paper. It’s now or never for Deschamps and failure to reach the final could see him out of work at the end of the tournament.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid),
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Florian Thauvin (Marseille),
Fun Fact: France have won just three of their last 12 group stage games at the W. Cup.
World Ranking: 39
Star Player: Tim Cahill
Coach: Bert Van Marwijk
Best Finish: Round of 16, 2006
Australia had to rely on an extra time play-off victory against Syria to qualify for this year’s W. Cup and it was the veteran, 38-year old Tim Cahill, whose goals got them to the tournament. Without him, they’re a fairly weak side, but they do boast Premier League talent in Brighton goalkeeper in Mat Ryan and Huddersfield midfielder Aaron Mooy. Bert Van Marwijk coached his native Holland to a final in 2010, but he’ll have his work cut out this time around.
Goalkeepers: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mat Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk)
Defenders: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Bluewings), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshoppers)
Midfielders: Jackson Irvine (Hull), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al-Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Tim Cahill (Millwall)
Forwards: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Tomi Juric (FC Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian)
Fun Fact: If Tim Cahill scores in Russia, he’ll be the fourth player to score in four different W. Cups. The other three are Uwe Seeler, Pele and Miroslav Klose.
World Ranking: 11
Star Player: Jefferson Farfan
Coach: Ricardo Gareca
Best Finish: Quarter-finals (1970, 1978)
Peru might not have the most recognisable team in the competition, nor have they qualified for the W. Cup recently, this being their first tournament in 36 years, but they did come through the highly-competitive South American qualifying group. They finished fifth, two goals better off than Chile, and then beat New Zealand 2-0 in a play-off tie to make it to Russia. Ederson Flores and Paolo Guerrero, who returns after a controversial drugs ban, were joint-top goalscorers with five and they could be the surprise team this summer.
Goalkeepers: Pedro Gallese (Veracruz), Carlos Caceda (Municipal), Jose Carvallo (UTC)
Defenders: Aldo Corzo (Universitario), Luis Advincula (Lobos), Miguel Araujo (Alianza Lima), Alberto Rodriguez (Junior), Christian Ramos (Veracruz), Anderson Santamaria (Puebla), Miguel Trauco (Flamengo)
Midfielders: Renato Tapia (Feyenoord), Pedro Aquino (Lobos), Yoshimar Yotun (Orlando City), Sergio Pena (Grenada), Edison Flores (Aalborg), Paolo Hurtado (Vitoria Guimaraes), Wilder Cartagena (Veracruz), Nilson Loyola (Melgar), Christian Cueva (Sao Paulo), Andre Carrillo (Watford)
Forwards: Jefferson Farfan (Lokomotiv Moscow), Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Raul Ruidiaz (Morelia)
Fun Fact: Peru’s 36-year gap from their last W. Cup to this current outing is the longest absence of any nation competing in Russia.
World Ranking: 12
Star Player: Christian Eriksen
Coach: Age Hareide
Best Finish: Quarter-finals, 1998
Denmark qualified for the tournament courtesy of the play-offs, thrashing the Republic of Ireland away from home in the second leg. They’re a young side, but have pulled off some impressive results, beating Poland 4-0 in the qualifiers and drawing at home to Germany in a friendly. There’s a Premier League core to their side, while Ajax’s Kasper Dolberg could be a breakout star of this year’s tournament.
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Frederik Ronow (Brondby), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield),
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich)
Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux)
Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig),
Fun Fact: All 27 of Denmark’s W. Cup goals have come from inside the box.