Aussie fans won't intimidate us: Denmark star

The Samara Arena will resemble a sea of green and gold when Australia takes on Denmark tonight.

Socceroos' fans are set to outnumber their counterparts by as many as 12 to one in their all-important Group C affair, but Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel isn't concerned.

PREVIEW: Socceroos v France: The key questions

READ: 'Key to France game is strong organisation': van Marwijk

"We have seen that some teams have a huge backing," said the Leicester City shot-stopper.

"[Against] Peru you could see how much backing they have but it doesn't make a difference to us.

"At the end of the day its 11 men v 11 men on the pitch. The mental aspect is important. 

"When you reach this layer all the players are excellent, their tactics are ready, they are all prepared, its going to be small matters that make the difference."

Over 12,000 Socceroos' supporters are expected to pour into the 44,918-capacity arena by kick off, with a comparatively modest 900 fans watching from the stands in Denmark red.

It comes after Denmark boss Age Hareide had earlier in the week admitted a fiery Peruvian support as a disturbing influence on the Danes in their Group C opener on Sunday morning.

Socceroos players thank the fans for their support inside the Kazan Arena.


Pogba staying positive 

France defender Raphael Varane insists teammate Paul Pogba is “staying positive” despite copping negative comments in the French press.

Pogba, who played a key role in the winning goal against the Socceroos on Saturday night, described himself as the "most criticised player in the world" in the aftermath of the 2-1 triumph in Kazan.

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While insisting Pogba was upbeat in camp despite the critics, Varane urged the French press pack to ease off.

"There's a lot of negativity in the press, that's the reality. We are always trying to be positive," the Real Madrid defender told media in Russia.

"We look for what went well, and you like to talk more about what went wrong, so I think he was talking about that.

"But he's not bitter, he stays positive always. If you could be more positive, it would be cool."

France can secure their spot in the last 16 if they beat Peru in their second match of Group C on Friday morning (1am kick-off AEST) live on SBS and Optus Sport.

Pogba and his France teammates were all smiles after the win over the Socceroos.
Pogba and his France teammates were all smiles after the win over the Socceroos.

Alli injury worry for England

England’s last-gasp win over Tunisia has been soured with news playmaker Dele Alli suffered a thigh strain and is in doubt for their next match against Panama.

The Tottenham star suffered the injury in the first-half of England’s 2-1 win but battled on until the last 10 minutes before he was replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

England officials confirmed Alli had undergone a scan on the injury, with results showing a minor strain to his thigh.

The Three Lions take on Panama on Sunday, with a win to all-but assure Gareth Southgate’s men a spot in the knockout phase.

Nigeria deny ‘ridiculous’ chicken story

In one right out of the ‘you can’t be serious basket’, Nigerian fans have been forced to deny bizarre reports they wanted to bring chickens to FIFA World Cup™ matches for good luck.

According to the reports, Nigeria supporters were denied requests to take the chickens into the stadiums, although the nation’s supporter groups say it's not a tradition the country follows.

"That is ridiculous," Rafiu Ladipo, president of the Nigerian Football Supporters Club, told ESPN.

"I have been leading this group for decades, and we have never carried a live chicken into any stadium.

"The only things we carry are our musical instruments and we pray. Prayer is the only charm we have. Why should we need a chicken? Maybe someone just wants to deceive them [the Russians]."

Without any chickens in the stadium, Nigeria went down 2-0 against Croatia in their opening match of the tournament on Sunday.

Nigeria fans