The World Cup squad lists have begun to roll out and the excitement is more palpable than ever.
All the teams in Group D are already setting up camps for the tournament, having already released their squad lists. Their fans have already started trooping into Qatar in droves despite the sociopolitical issues surrounding the World Cup.
Group D is the group of the defending champions France, who will, once again, face Denmark in the group stages as they attempt to become the next team to defend their World Cup title after Italy and Brazil.
Les Bleus also have Tunisia and Australia, but everyone expects Denmark to be one of France’s toughest opponents at the World Cup and not just in Group D, as you can see in Overlyzer live statistics.
Recent history has seen Les Bleus struggle against the Danes and they will hope that they can regain their pride by defeating Kasper Hjulmand’s team on the global stage. For this, Didier Deschamps has chosen quite an interesting side, although there are a few absences due to fitness issues.
The question is, “Who will win the group?” This article will preview each team according to their strengths and weaknesses before making a prediction based on the information shared.
Strengths and Weaknesses
France is a team brimming with individual quality. It is safe to say that alongside Brazil, Les Bleus is the squad with the most talented players who will be turning up at the World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe, 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Aurelien Tchouameni, Lucas and Theo Hernandez, Jules Kounde, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele and many more are some of the names that Deschamps will be fielding at Qatar. More than the team’s formation every game, how to stop all these players will be the biggest worry of managers.
The team’s only weakness is in their midfield. There is quality, but due to injuries to key players Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, it is a team of youngsters who could struggle against more experienced teams, like Denmark.
Denmark are coming into the World Cup on the back of an amazing run of form that saw them brush France aside twice.
At this point, everyone expects Denmark to be one of France’s toughest opponents because they are a very strong unit. Kasper Hjulmand has forged a team so united that it is hard to see them not make it to the quarter finals at the very least.
This is as a result of a solid defence, technical midfielders and attackers who are good enough to get into key spaces to provide passing options.
It is the attackers as well who are the team’s weakness. Their strikers and forwards do not score many goals and if their midfielders have a bad day, it could turn out to be a bad tournament for the Danes.
Tunisia is a team full of weaknesses and it is hard to identify a strength that could give them an edge against any opponent they face in Qatar.
History in the tournament is also not on their side as only Australia and Saudi Arabia have performed worse than them at the World Cup.
The Carthage Eagles will have to do some work to turn their obvious weaknesses into any strengths that could help them gain an edge over their Group D opponents. On the flip side, it may be a plus for them to be underrated, just like they were against Japan before they ran out 3 – 0 winners in the game.
Despite having players who have spent time in Europe’s top leagues, Australia is pretty much on par with Tunisia. There are no identifiable strengths for the Socceroos going into the tournament.
They will probably also be at the receiving end of fan backlash after their viral message against the host nation Qatar. A lot of things could go wrong for them at the tournament.
Like Tunisia, it may be in their favour to be underrated when the tournament starts. They have pulled off some upsets in the past, and they only need one to scale through the group stages.
Match previews and predictions
Denmark opens the group against Tunisia on November 22 before France takes on Australia in the late kickoff on the same day.
Tunisia will face Australia next before France and Denmark face off against each other later on November 26. These two matches will be the determining matches of this group, depending on the outcome of the first round of games. Tunisia and France will then face off before Australia and Denmark do battle to round up the group.
Based on the form of the teams going into the tournament, Australia will struggle to earn a single point from the group and if they do, it will most likely be against Tunisia. France vs Denmark is the game to look out for and, as stated earlier, will determine the group leader.
It is hard to predict three wins out of three for any of the teams in this group using pre-tournament form as a basis. France and Denmark will get results against Tunisia and Australia, however.
Final group places prediction
France will win the group either outrightly or on goal difference while Denmark will come second. Tunisia will seal third place on goal difference while Australia will finish last I’m another World Cup.