Nice striker Kasper Dolberg has joined Bundesliga side Hoffenheim on loan for the remainder of the season after seeing his spell at Sevilla cut short.

Dolberg was loaned to Sevilla at the start of the season, but failed to net in four league games for the club, remaining out of favour after Jorge Sampaoli replaced Julen Lopetegui as head coach.

Reports last week suggested the Denmark international wished to end his stay at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to join Hoffenheim, who are 11th in the Bundesliga table after 15 games.

Hoffenheim confirmed the deal on Monday, with Andre Breitenreiter's men in need of offensive reinforcements after losing four of their last five league games.

Dolberg appeared in all three of Denmark's games at the recent World Cup in Qatar, though he only started once as Kasper Hjulmand's team surprisingly finished bottom of Group D.

With the Bundesliga enjoying a mid-season break, Hoffenheim are next in action against surprise top-four contenders Union Berlin on January 21.

Australia forward Mitchell Duke said "bring on whoever" when asked about taking on Lionel Messi or Robert Lewandowski in the World Cup round of 16.

The Socceroos progressed to the knockout stage of a World Cup for only the second time in their history, 16 years on from first doing so in 2006, by beating Denmark 1-0 on Wednesday.

Australia's victory at Al Janoub Stadium was required, with Tunisia stunning a much-changed France side in Group D's other game.

Messi's Argentina or Lewandowski's Poland are the most likely candidates to face Australia on Saturday, though Saudi Arabia could yet sneak through as Group C winners.

But whoever Australia have to face, Duke said they will be ready.

"Bring on whoever, I feel like we could take on anyone right now," he told reporters. "That's the belief, we go out with that mentality.

"Don't write us off. You can see there's something special building here, there's lot to be excited about."

Duke, who scored Australia's winner against Tunisia on matchday two, wants to make more history in Qatar, with the 31-year-old adding: "It doesn't really feel like it's sunk in quite yet.

"That's what some of the boys were saying when they walked in. 'Do we realise what we've just done?'

"Playing a part in history right now, we've got two clean sheets, six points out of a group with two world class teams. It's unbelievable, a lot of people would have written us off but the belief in our team is unbelievable.

"Everyone wrote us off, we've finished second in the group, it's massive and we're not done yet – we want to make history."

Australia captain Mat Ryan added that the team's unity is what has pushed them to successive World Cup wins for the first time.

"The pride of the whole group, we have such a great team – youngsters, leaders," Ryan said.

"The togetherness is our backbone, our identity and the foundation. The world keeps giving us reasons to be proud of ourselves.

"It's great to see we’re an ambitious group. We're enjoying the victory but the comments are already coming out – we want to keep going, keep having victories like this and go as deep as we can, make the nation as proud as we can.

"Everything's a collective, from front to back, the commitment from everyone. The ones who haven't got on yet, the ones who have, the ones who haven't played as much as the others, the mentality and attitude has been top class and that's what we strive for. Everyone sets the standards high."

Australia advanced to the last 16 of the World Cup after securing a hard-fought 1-0 win over Denmark on Wednesday.

Mathew Leckie's winning goal at Al Janoub Stadium meant Tunisia - who drew with France - joined Denmark in exiting the tournament as Graham Arnold's side went through as Group D runners-up.

The Socceroos qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup for only a second time from six tournament appearances, having only previously done so in 2006, and will now play the winners of Group C.

It is home time for Kasper Hjulmand's men though, who disappointed after reaching the Euro 2020 semi-finals, and are now winless in their last six World Cup games (D4 L2), since beating Peru in their first game of the 2018 tournament.

Rasmus Kristensen is ready for a tough tussle with Australia, while Denmark team-mate Jesper Lindstrom is confident Kasper Hjulmand's side will go through to the last 16.

Denmark's defeat to France on Saturday, combined with Australia's victory over Tunisia, has left the Euro 2020 semi-finalists in need of a victory to stand a chance of progressing to the knockout stage of the World Cup in Qatar.

With France's progress from Group D already assured, all three of the other sides could clinch second place, which is occupied by Australia heading into the final matchday.

Wednesday's match at Al Janoub Stadium will be the second meeting between Australia and Denmark at the World Cup, following a 1-1 draw in the group stage in 2018, and Kristensen knows it will be a battle.

"For sure we're up for it," the Leeds United defender told reporters. "If fighting is what it takes we're going to do it.

"I know a few [Australia] players. We've seen the first game and we're going to watch a lot of them in the next few days.

"I think the expectations were the last game would always be decisive."

Lindstrom, who almost put Denmark ahead against France before Kylian Mbappe's second goal sealed a 2-1 victory for Les Bleus, has faith his team will get the job done.

"We have confidence, everyone has belief. We have that mentality. We will do our best," said the Eintracht Frankfurt attacker, who believes Denmark played at a much higher level against France than in their opening draw with Tunisia.

"We are really disappointed but we have to look how we can develop, how we can use the situations we created," he added.

"The second half was better than the first but we had 20 minutes where we controlled the game, we scored the goal and we had big chances."

Denmark could qualify for the knockout stage at back-to-back World Cup tournaments for a second time, previously doing so in 1998 and 2002.

The Danes have only failed to qualify from the group stage in one of their previous five appearances at the tournament, while Australia have only made it to the last 16 once in their history back in 2006.

However, should France beat Tunisia as expected in the other Group D's game on Wednesday, then a point would be enough for Australia to go through.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Australia – Mitchell Duke

Mitchell Duke scored Australia's winner against Tunisia, heading home brilliantly. The 31-year-old has scored five goals in his past eight starts for his country, with four of these goals being headers.

Denmark – Jesper Lindstrom

Handed a start against France, Lindstrom felt he had done enough to impress Hjulmand, though he rued been unable to score, with Hugo Lloris making a fine save from the forward's strike.

Denmark have only scored once so far in Qatar, and Lindstrom will be hoping for more luck in front of goal against Australia.

PREDICTION

Australia have lost eight of their 11 World Cup games against European sides (W1 D2), failing to keep a clean sheet in all of those matches, while they have won just one of their four games versus Denmark, winning a friendly match 1-0 in June 2010.

Opta make Denmark – ranked 28 places above Australia by FIFA – as the strong favourites, giving them a 63.2 per cent chance of securing a crucial victory.

The likelihood of a draw is 22 per cent, leaving Australia's chances of coming out on top at 14.8 per cent.

Coach Graham Arnold aims to "put smiles on Australian faces" on Wednesday by emulating the great Socceroos team of 2006 and advancing to the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Australia head into their final Group D game knowing a win against Denmark will be enough to see them reach the round of 16 for just the second time in the nation's history. A draw would also be enough unless Tunisia beat defending champions France.

Arnold was an assistant to Guus Hiddink 16 years ago and he understands the size of the prize on offer.

He said: "That's the whole purpose. My whole goal is to put smiles on Australian faces. It's not about me, it's about the game in Australia.

"If you're not Australian and you don't know, football is probably the fourth or fifth-main sport. To leave a legacy is huge and in 2006, what that generation did... these guys [the current squad] grew up watching them and they were their inspiration.

"Even now at dinner, this generation talk about matching the achievements of 2006 but there is so much more to do."

Midfielder Mathew Leckie added: "It's huge for the sport. I don't know how much it will impact young kids but when they watch it on television and see how big the World Cup is, they may decide to be a footballer rather than, say, an AFL player.

"The World Cup and the Socceroos bring the country together. We can create something special but we haven't done anything yet, without a result on Wednesday it means nothing."

Denmark also have plenty to play for at Al Janoub, a win would likely see them progress at Australia's expense and Arnold is certainly not getting ahead of himself.

"They are a strong team, ranked 10 in the world, but the focus is on ourselves and making sure the players recover well and are ready to go," he said.

"They have been a top team throughout Europe for a long time. We can only do so much worrying about them, the focus has to be on ourselves. They can play two systems, 3-4-3 or a 4-3-3, so we have to be ready for them tactically."

Although a draw may be enough, the Socceroos will play to win the game, said Arnold, who joked throughout his press conference with 2006 goalkeeper-turned journalist Mark Schwarzer in the room.

"One thing Hiddink did was go for the win," Arnold added. "That's what we are going to do. I've never coached to play for a draw. In 2006, we got one win and a draw, we want to go for it and get two wins.

"It's not often you get to go to a World Cup, and I've been saying this to the boys, enjoy the ride. We've gone through some difficult periods over the last four years, through the pandemic, playing four games out of 20 at home...

"It's all about the belief, the energy in the players. I feel relaxed and ready."

France, Brazil and Portugal are the only sides to have already secured World Cup knockout football, with numerous teams facing a nervy final matchday as they bid to reach the round of 16 in Qatar.

Pre-tournament favourites Brazil breezed through Group G with wins over Serbia and Switzerland, while France became the first reigning world champions to escape the group stage since the Selecao in 2006.

Portugal made sure of their round-of-16 spot after Monday's Group H victory over Uruguay, yet the likes of England, Spain, Germany and Argentina all need results on matchday three to progress.

The Netherlands are another big name that have yet to confirm their place in the latter stages of FIFA's top tournament, while Belgium face a tense Group F clash with Croatia to avoid an early exit.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at the permutations riding on the final selection of group-stage action in the Middle East.

Group A

The Netherlands are largely in control of Group A, needing to just avoid defeat against the already eliminated hosts, Qatar.

Louis van Gaal's side will also reach the round of 16 if Ecuador beat Senegal, who have to win otherwise Aliou Cisse's side will rely on a somewhat unlikely win for Qatar over the Netherlands to remain in contention.

Ecuador, who have impressed in their first two games, must win or draw against Senegal to progress. However, Gustavo Alfaro's men could go through in defeat if Qatar beat the Netherlands.

Group B

A win or a draw is enough for England against fierce rivals Wales. Yet, the Three Lions would still progress as long as they avoid a four-goal defeat against Wales, whose goal difference is six fewer.

Iran are guaranteed to qualify with victory over the United States, who know anything other than a win against Carlos Queiroz's side will see them eliminated from the competition.

Quieroz's men could still escape Group B with a draw, though goal difference would come into play if Wales pick up their first win at the tournament against Gareth Southgate's England.

Group C

All four teams can still make it out of an enticing Group C, with Argentina – who were among the pre-tournament favourites – needing to beat Poland to guarantee a round-of-16 place.

La Albiceleste could progress with a draw, however, and would be through in that instance if Mexico and Saudi Arabia also share the spoils.

Yet, if Lionel Scaloni's men are held and Herve Renard's men beat El Tri, Argentina will be eliminated. If Mexico win and Argentina draw, it goes to goal difference.

Poland would go through by avoiding defeat, but would be knocked out by a loss coupled with a Saudi Arabia victory over Mexico, who must win to have any chance of remaining in the tournament.

If Poland lose and Saudi Arabia draw, the two teams will have to be separated by goal difference, which will also be used if Czeslaw Michniewicz's side are defeated and Mexico win.

Group D

France are already in the round-of-16 draw and will top Group D as long as they do not lose to Tunisia and Australia do not defeat Denmark, otherwise the Socceroos would move level on six points with Les Bleus.

While victory would take Australia through, Graham Arnold's side would still reach the knockout stage with a draw unless Tunisia beat France, which would see Jalel Kadri's men progress on goal difference.

Denmark would grab qualification with a win over Australia unless Tunisia triumph over France, which would leave goal difference or goals scored to separate the Carthage Eagles and Kasper Hjulmand's men.

Group E

Spain are the favourites to progress from Group E, requiring a win or draw against Japan. Defeat would see Luis Enrique's side still go through on goal difference, unless Germany lose to Costa Rica.

Germany must pick up three points to stay in contention and would qualify as long as Spain defeat Japan, though a draw in the latter game or a win for Hajime Moriyasu's men would see goal difference needed.

A win for Japan over Spain would take Moriyasu's side through, while a draw – coupled with a stalemate for Germany – would also see the Samurai Blue make the knockout stage.

Costa Rica would earn a last-16 spot with victory and a point would also take them through if Spain overcome Japan. A draw in both games or a defeat for Fernando Suarez's side sees them eliminated.

Group F

Croatia will pass through Group F if they avoid defeat against Belgium, who require victory against the 2018 runners-up to guarantee a place in the round of 16.

Such a win for Belgium would leave Croatia needing already eliminated Canada to overcome Morocco, with goal difference coming into play to separate Zlatko Dalic's side from the Atlas Lions.

A draw is likely not enough for Belgium. They would need Morocco to lose to Canada and then rely on goal difference, though Walid Regragui's men (+2) hold the advantage over Roberto Martinez's side (-1) in the decisive metric.

Morocco would progress with victory over Canada, while a defeat would see Regragui's side reliant on Belgium beating Croatia for goal difference to be decisive between Dalic's men and the Atlas Lions for second.

Group G

Brazil have secured knockout football and will finish as Group G winners with anything other than defeat against Cameroon, who need victory against Tite's side and results to go their way to make the last 16.

Rigobert Song's men would be eliminated if they do not win, though victory is not guaranteed to secure progression as Switzerland could play out a high-scoring draw with Serbia to go through on goals scored, which is used if sides cannot be separated on goal difference – Cameroon are currently on -1 and Switzerland level in the latter metric.

The somewhat expected scenario of Cameroon losing to Brazil would see Serbia and Switzerland become a winner-takes-all clash. 

Dragan Stojkovic's side need victory to progress in that instance, while a draw would be enough for Switzerland. Goal difference would be required if Serbia (-2) and Cameroon (-1) both win their final encounters.

Group H

Portugal are already through and would top Group H by avoiding defeat against South Korea, who could still make a late charge for the round-of-16 stage should the result between Uruguay and Ghana go their way.

The permutations are straightforward for Uruguay and South Korea, who must win to avoid elimination, though qualification is not assured even with victory.

Both teams would be level on four points with victories, again leading to goal difference to separate. Yet, if Ghana beat Uruguay then South Korea's result against Portugal will prove irrelevant for Paulo Bento's side.

A draw for Ghana and a win for South Korea would also see goal difference required to split the two sides, with Bento's men trailing the Black Stars by one in that metric, which could mean goals scored comes into it.

Aurelien Tchouameni has rubbished suggestions the France squad is a more harmonious place without Karim Benzema after reaching the World Cup knockout rounds.

Didier Deschamps' side are into the last 16 at Qatar 2022 after victory over Denmark in Group D, with Kylian Mbappe's double firing Les Bleus to a 2-1 win on Saturday.

The attacker has delivered for his side so far in the absence of Benzema, with the Ballon d'Or winner ruled out on the eve of the tournament with a thigh injury.

Some reports have suggested there has been a better atmosphere in the absence of the Real Madrid star, who was not involved at Russia 2018, but Tchouameni has now sought to dispel those rumours.

"I want to come back to something we saw concerning the departure of Karim," Tchouameni stated about his club and international team-mate.

"[Somewhere said] we have felt better since he was no longer here.

"It's totally false. Even when he was there, it was already going well. We have been hurt by these reports.

"What I can tell you is that since we arrived in Qatar, things have been going really well."

With two games under his belt, Tchouameni is fast becoming an integral member for Deschamps in his side's title defence, with France boosted too by the return of defender Raphael Varane.

The Manchester United centre-back has been nursing a problem since late October, but made his return to action with a start against Denmark.

Reflecting on his injury, Varane added: "I've come a long way. It's been a lot of work, a lot of effort to come back.

"I feel good. It's always special to play at this exceptional event. I'll take advantage of every moment. We will do everything to go as far as possible."

France will conclude their Group D campaign against Tunisia on November 30, and will discover their last-16 opponents later that day when Group C concludes.

Denmark attacker Jesper Lindstrom believes France's "crazy team" should reach the final of the World Cup, at the very least.

Kylian Mbappe scored twice on Saturday as the World Cup holders became the first team to seal a place in the round of 16 in Qatar with a 2-1 win over the Danes. It is the first time the reigning champions have reached the knockout stage since Brazil in 2006.

Andreas Christensen cancelled out Mbappe's opener at Stadium 974, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward bundled home from Antoine Griezmann's cross to claim the points in Group D.

Mbappe was the star performer in Doha, but Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud were all excellent too.

With such a star-studded squad, Eintracht Frankfurt forward Lindstrom sees no reason why France should not reach the tournament's showpiece match on December 18.

"Look at the team, I think they should at least go to the final," Lindstrom said.

"They have game-winners. Mbappe, Dembele, Griezmann, Tchouameni... even on the bench, they have a crazy team.

"I think the game is always open when you play against Dembele and Mbappe, it's always going to be difficult with their speed."

Despite failing to score, France dominated the first half, having 13 shots and accumulating 0.99 expected goals (xG) to Denmark's 0.05, with Kasper Schmeichel pulling off two fine saves.

Having netted in the final in Russia four years ago, and in the 4-1 win over Australia on Tuesday, Mbappe is just the second player to score in three successive World Cup games for France since Just Fontaine, who scored in six consecutive appearances at the 1958 tournament.

Mbappe is now onto 31 goals for Les Bleus, netting 14 times in his last 12 games.

"He's one of them - top quality," Lindstrom replied when asked if Mbappe was the best player he had faced.

"He scored two goals, so we can't say we defended him well, but our wing-back was close to him. But you see he has the qualities to score when he gets the chances."

Rasmus Kristensen was the defender tasked with marking Mbappe, and the Leeds United right-back reflected: "Difficult. A good player, a really, really good player.

"For me maybe the best in the world. It's a privilege playing against the best. I was just trying to do my best."

Kylian Mbappe plays football "like a steam train" and showed his quiet leadership qualities with the double that fired France into the World Cup knockout rounds, says boss Didier Deschamps.

Les Bleus secured a 2-1 victory over Denmark thanks to a brace from the forward, to seal their progress from Group D after an opening win against Australia.

Having shot to stardom four years ago as the poster boy for France's World Cup victory at Russia 2018, Mbappe has arrived at Qatar 2022 with greater weight on his shoulders after an injury to Karim Benzema.

But Deschamps feels there is no extra heat upon him, who continues to be an integral part of the national set-up regardless of who his team-mates are with his attacking dominance.

"He’s a leader," he stated. "I don’t think leadership has one face. Kylian doesn't speak, he's not very talkative. However, he's like a steam train on the pitch. He's the one that gets the crowd going.

"Kylian's always got the same responsibility. He knows the French team need him, and we need him to be at his best. The proof is in the pudding from the first two games."

With Benzema's absence, Mbappe is just one of five players with a half-century of caps under their belt for the national team in Qatar, alongside Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Raphael Varane.

It marks a squad peppered with youthful faces and limited top-level experienced for Les Bleus, but Deschamps does not feel that is a hindrance, pointing to their sparkling club reputations.

"I have a great pool of players," he added. "I’m very lucky to be able to fall back on this pool of players.

"Most of them don’t have 50 caps, but they play in the best European clubs, I have a high-quality squad with an excellent mindset."

Antoine Griezmann says he is proud to match Zinedine Zidane for assists with France, but credited their World Cup victory over Denmark as a team performance.

Kylian Mbappe's double saw the defending champions book their place in the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win, cementing top spot in Group D with a game in hand.

Griezmann supplied the crucial delivery for the forward's winner, cancelling out Andreas Christensen's earlier equaliser, to move him to 26 assists overall for his country.

That draws him level with national legend and fellow World Cup winner Zidane, but while Griezmann was delighted to match the achievement, he was quick to pay tribute to Didier Deschamps' squad as a whole.

"I am very proud of that," he told TF1. "But I insist [it is] the work of the team, [rather than] my work offensively or defensively.

"There are the stats, [if] we only look at that. But everyone made an exceptional effort tonight. It was very important to win and qualify."

Griezmann's feat draws him level with Zidane, who helped France to World Cup success on home soil in 1998.

For France, victory marked a spot of revenge too after back-to-back losses against Kasper Hjulmand's side in the Nations League, and Griezmann acknowledged their win was a hard-fought one.

"We knew it was going to be a complicated match," he added. "We lost twice in the Nations League. We did a lot of work together. Those who returned worked well too. It's a very good victory."

France will wrap up their Group D campaign against Tunisia on November 30, where they will look to ensure they claim top spot and an arguably more favourable draw for the knockout stages.

Kylian Mbappe poached a double as France became the first side to clinch a place in the last-16 stage at the Qatar World Cup with a 2-1 win over Denmark.

It took France until just past the hour mark to make a breakthrough, as Mbappe finished off an electrifying break.

Denmark were level seven minutes later when Andreas Christensen planted a close-range header past Hugo Lloris, and substitute Martin Braithwaite later clipped the post.

However, Mbappe was decisive when he bundled in Antoine Griezmann's cross from the right in the 86th minute.

Didier Deschamps recalled Raphael Varane to his starting XI for France's World Cup clash with Denmark.

Varane, who has not played since he was forced off with an injury in Manchester United's Premier League game with Chelsea on October 22, was one of three changes made to the France team for Saturday's game in Doha.

Deschamps confirmed on Friday that Varane had been fit to feature in the opening game, and had trained without any issues prior to France's second match of the tournament.  The former Real Madrid centre-back replaced Ibrahima Konate in France's XI.

Les Bleus head into the match at Stadium 974 knowing that victory would ensure their progression to the last 16.

The holders thrashed Australia 4-1 in their opening Group D game, though suffered another injury blow in that match, with Lucas Hernandez sustaining a serious knee injury.

Hernandez was replaced by his brother, Theo, and the latter started at left-back against the Danes, with Barcelona defender Jules Kounde replacing Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard at right-back.

Olivier Giroud will become France's all-time leading goalscorer the next time he finds the net, and the Milan forward was given the nod up top, leading a line that also included Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand made four changes.

Thomas Delaney was injured in the draw with Tunisia on Tuesday and makes way for Mikkel Damsgaard, while Victor Nelsson replaced Simon Kjaer in the defence and Jesper Lindstrom came in for Andreas Skov Olsen.

Andreas Cornelius missed a fantastic chance to seal the points for Denmark against Tunisia, hitting the post from a yard out, but he was handed a start in place of Kasper Dolberg.

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand is not frightened by Kylian Mbappe but conceded there is only so much you can do to stop the France striker.

Mbappe scored in Les Bleus' 4-1 win against Australia in their World Cup Group D opener on Tuesday and looked razor sharp alongside Olivier Giroud.

Hjulmand's men ground out a goalless draw against Tunisia, although keeping another clean sheet against the defending champions may be trickier to achieve.

Asked if he was frightened at the thought of trying to keep Mbappe quiet, Hjulmand replied: "I don't think it's good to be frightened. We have plans to stop him. At Parken [in September] we had a good plan, a good structure. He had two or three chances and no matter what plans you have against top players, you can't keep them down.

"We have carried out plenty of analysis to try to minimise his impact, we don't want him to show the talent he has."

Hjulmand is hoping some insider knowledge will also help stifle France's threat with captain Simon Kjaer a team-mate of Giroud at Milan.

He added: "I hope it's an advantage. A player like Giroud is very good at what he does. It's a pleasure seeing so many strikers in the latter stages of their careers showing how to move in the box, showing how to be dangerous in their positioning and showing how to finish in the box.

"Giroud is better now than he was before, he is very dangerous. Simon knows him very well and we have been talking about the small details."

Denmark enjoyed back-to-back wins against Didier Deschamps' side in the Nations League earlier this year but Hjulmand knows facing them at a World Cup is a different proposition.

"We have tested them a couple of times but this is a different tournament," he said. "But we know that if we play our best we have a chance of getting a good result.

"To be able to do that, we have to take a big step forward in quality from the first match."

Denmark and France kick off six hours after the other Group D encounter between Australia and Tunisia, and Hjulmand admitted the result of that game could affect his approach to the game.

"I won't watch that game, but I will obviously know the outcome as it will influence how we approach our game," he said.

"I am only really talking about the last 25 minutes. We are focused on winning the match but the other game will influence our approach."

Hugo Lloris is confident Adrien Rabiot will prove crucial to France's World Cup defence following his impressive display against Australia, while Didier Deschamps wants even more from Ousmane Dembele.

Injuries to Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante opened the door for Rabiot to assume a central role in Qatar, and he did not let Les Bleus down in their 4-1 win over the Socceroos.

The Juventus midfielder grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck before the break, cancelling out Craig Goodwin's earlier strike by scoring the equaliser before assisting the first of Olivier Giroud's two goals.

Rabiot subsequently became the first France player to both score and assist a goal on his World Cup debut since Christophe Dugarry against South Africa in 1998.

Lloris said: "A lot has been said about the absences of Kante and Pogba, who have been vital engines for us for some years now. 

"But you can forget that there are players who can step up and have the maturity and experience to take a leading role – Adrien has that.

"We know his qualities, there is an opportunity for him at this World Cup.

"The opportunity is coming at the right time and he has shown that against Australia.

"He stepped up and scored that goal and gave an assist to Olivier, it shows the impact he can have on the team.

"We know how talented he is, but he also is a very hard worker, he is very technically gifted, a very elegant player. I'm sure he'll help us go as far as possible."

Meanwhile, Deschamps believes Dembele must continue to strive for improvement, despite grabbing an assist in the Australia victory.

The Barcelona forward, whose brilliant cross set up Kylian Mbappe, started France's first two games at the 2018 tournament, but made just two further substitute appearances in Russia.

He was then unused during the victory over Croatia in the final.

But Deschamps insists Dembele has not arrived in Qatar with a point to prove, saying: "I don't think he wants to make up for it or forget it; he was in 2018 squad, and it was successful.

"Four years ago, he was going through a difficult time with major injuries. Now, he is more mature, but he is still full of youthful exuberance. He is in a club that is very demanding, and maybe he is better at that club.

"He is always capable of creating problems for the opponent as he is so quick and skilful, but he needs to rule out any wastefulness and be as effective as he possibly can.

"He was pleased to be in first XI [against Australia], and he put in a good performance."

France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris believes Richarlison has proven his qualities for Brazil, silencing his doubters with a double against Serbia.

Richarlison was the star of the show for Brazil in Doha on Thursday, as Tite's team started their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory at Lusail Stadium.

The Tottenham forward tucked in an opportunistic opener in the 62nd minute, before lashing an acrobatic attempt into the left-hand corner to seal the victory in style.

Brazil's win was marred by an ankle injury for Neymar, though Tite was confident the Paris Saint-Germain star would recover.

Asked about his Spurs team-mate, as well as Neymar's injury, while previewing France's Group D clash with Denmark, Lloris said: "Neymar is an icon in global football, but I'm not going to talk about him that much, I don't know how serious the injury is.

"For Richarlison, I'm delighted for him, he's not one of the better-known players in the Brazil squad and maybe not everyone expected to be in XI, but he's a great player, a great goalscorer – as he proved with the first goal but then a wonderful second goal.

"[It was] spectacular, and the best goal of the tournament so far, so that's great for him.

"We know how good a team Brazil is, they're favourites. They'll be delighted to win the first game, that's what they needed to do, to get out on the front foot."

Holders France can seal their place in the last 16 by beating Denmark on Saturday, though they go into that match having lost their last two meetings with the Danes, both of those defeats coming in this year's Nations League.

Lloris said: "It gives you an idea of the level of this Danish team, it's an excellent side and capable of beating the best.

"It's been a wake-up for us, we can't say we don't know them and we don't need extra motivation, [it's] a decisive game for qualification. If you look at the first games between Tunisia and Denmark, you can see that we have a lot of work to do. Every team is in a good place."

"They are underestimated," France coach Didier Deschamps said of Denmark, who have kept a clean sheet in three of their last five World Cup games.

"We're talking about just between June and September where they beat us twice and made life difficult. We have to make sure that's not the case. It's not a question of revenge, we know their players, they know us.

"We'll learn from those experiences but Denmark can learn too."

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