Opponent watch: ‘Eriksen better than Real and Barca’s midfielders’

Another week, another incredible display from Denmark’s Christian Eriksen will not have gone unnoticed by Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk.

The Danish manager has some high praise for his playmaking star, while there’s a couple of Frenchman who are also hitting peak form in time for June’s FIFA World Cup.

Get that and more from our Group C opponents in this week's Opponent Watch.

Championship wrap: Jedinak shines in Villa victory


As if the Caltex Socceroos didn’t already know that Eriksen would be the dangerman in Russia, he came out and gave them another reminder in the Premier League on the weekend.

The 26-year-old scored another jaw-dropping brace as Spurs beat Stoke City 2-1. He has now scored 11 goals and provided 10 assists in all competitions this season.

And his Danish manager Age Hareide has heaped praise on his main man, insisting Eriksen would be a star at La Liga's biggest clubs amid speculation of interest from Barca and Real Madrid.

"I think he is a type that can adapt to anything," Hareide told Ritzau, via Tipsbladet.

"Give him a ball, then the ball will speak for him wherever he is. Christian is a type that just gets better from dealing with better football players.

"When looking at the players that play centrally for Real Madrid and Barcelona, none of them are better than Christian.

"Luka Modric came from Tottenham to Real Madrid, and he was not as good as Christian."


While he’s received some criticism for his performances in recent weeks, French superstar Paul Pogba responded in emphatic fashion over the weekend.

The classy midfielder scored twice as Manchester United came from 2-0 down to beat arch-rivals Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The incredible turnaround not only prevented City wrapping up the EPL title – for now – it also demonstrated just why Pogba was voted the best young player at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

He wasn’t the only France star to shine, with Antonie Griezmann continuing his sublime form in Spain.

The attacker scored a sensational goal to help Atletico Madrid secure a 1-1 draw at neighbours Real to keep a firm grip on second spot in La Liga.


Banned Peruvian skipper Paolo Guerrero is edging closer to return to action with his drugs suspension almost over.

The 34-year-old is eligible to play again on May 3, just six weeks before Peru’s opening game at the 2018 FIFA World Cup against Denmark.

While he has been training in Argentina to stay fit, Guerrero is expected to return to his Brazilian club Flamengo shortly, where he is contracted to until August.

And it’s understood the former Bayern Munich striker has demanded a new $20m deal to re-sign with the club beyond this season.