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World Cup: Group D preview

Defending champions France take up a slot in Group D at the World Cup in Qatar with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia for company.

It's no surprise to see Les Bleus rated as the 2/5 favourites to top the section with Denmark - who impressed when reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2020 - available at 11/4, while Australia are 14/1 and Tunisia are the outsiders at 16/1.

What:World Cup
Where:Qatar
When:20th November - 18th December 2022
How to watch:All matches will be shown on either the BBC or ITV
Odds:Brazil 7/2, Argentina 11/2, France 7/1, England 8/1, Spain 8/1

All four nations were represented at the 2018 World Cup, but France are clearly the standout name in this group as they look to defend their crown. Les Bleus have reached at least the quarter-finals in three of their last four World Cup campaigns.

Denmark eased through qualifying, picking up 27 of a possible 30 points on offer and they conceded just three goals in their 10 outings. It appears to be a golden era for the Danes and they will have ambitions to go far in Qatar.

Australia, meanwhile, had a long journey to book their spot after finishing third in their AFC qualifying group. The Socceroos overcame the United Arab Emirates to seal a spot in the inter-confederation playoffs before edging out Peru on penalties after a goalless draw.

Tunisia are set to appear at their sixth World Cup after topping their qualifying group and then seeing off Mali to confirm their berth.

Who has been drawn in Group D?

France:

  • Manager - Didier Deschamps
  • Captain - Hugo Lloris
  • Best Ever Finish - Winners (1998, 2018)
  • Odds to qualify from Group D - 1/10
  • Odds to win Group D - 2/5

Australia:

  • Manager - Graham Arnold
  • Captain - Mathew Ryan
  • Best Ever Finish - Last-16 (2006)
  • Odds to qualify from Group D - 3/1
  • Odds to win Group D - 14/1

Denmark:

  • Manager - Kasper Hjulmand
  • Captain - Simon Kjaer
  • Best Ever Finish - Quarter-finals (1998)
  • Quarter-finals (1998)
  • Odds to qualify from Group D - 1/3
  • Odds to win Group D - 11/4

Tunisia:

  • Manager - Jalel Kadri
  • Captain - Youssef Msakni
  • Best Ever Finish - Group stage (1978, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018)
  • Odds to qualify from Group D - 7/2
  • Odds to win Group D - 16/1

France are looking to win back-to-back World Cups, something only achieved by two other nations - Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962).

They are regarded as one of the heavyweights of world football, as demonstrated with their victory in Russia in 2018. They've lifted the World Cup on two occasions and finished runners-up in 2006, while they've made it to at least the semi-finals in six of their 15 appearances.

Denmark have never gone beyond the quarter-finals at the showpiece event, reaching that stage in 1998 when they lost to eventual finalists Brazil, but they have made it out of the group in four of their previous five campaigns.

Australia are enjoying their most consistent period in terms of qualifying for the World Cup. The Southern Hemisphere nation made their debut in 1974 but didn't qualify again until 2006. They have qualified for every competition in the meantime but have only made it through to the knockout stage on one occasion.

Tunisia are yet to advance any further than the group stage at a World Cup and they’ve only picked up two wins in their previous five appearances.

When are the Group D fixtures?

Tuesday 22nd November:

  • Denmark v Tunisia (Education City Stadium - 13:00)
  • France v Australia (Al Janoub Stadium – 19:00)

Saturday 26th November:

  • Tunisia v Australia (Al Janoub Stadium – 10:00)
  • France v Denmark (Stadium 974 – 16:00)

Wednesday 30th November:

  • Tunisia v France (Education City Stadium – 15:00)
  • Australia v Denmark (Al Janoub Stadium – 15:00)

Denmark and Tunisia kick off proceedings in Group D on 22nd November with the former hoping to lay down an early marker, while France take on Australia later in the day.

European rivals France and Denmark, who are expected to tussle it out for top spot, meet in the second round of fixtures on 26th November in a clash that could decide who ends up at the summit.

Group D comes to a close on 30th November when Australia go up against Denmark at Al Janoub Stadium and Tunisia take on France at Education City Stadium.

Related World Cup Group D News

World Cup - Football: Australia team profile

World Cup - Football: Denmark team profile

World Cup - Football: France team profile

World Cup - Football: Tunisia team profile

Who are the players to look out for in Group D?

France will head to Qatar with arguably the deepest squad of any nation with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba among those hoping to enjoy a successful campaign.

Mbappe, priced at 9/1 to be the competition's leading scorer, and 40/1 Griezmann both registered four goals at the World Cup in 2018, but they were beaten to the Golden Boot by England's Harry Kane.

Benzema, who can be backed at 12/1, could also be a strong contender in the leading goalscorer market after his recent exploits at club level with Real Madrid.

Away from France, Denmark will be hoping Kasper Dolberg, who netted three times at Euro 2020, can play a big role, while the creativity of Christian Eriksen could be key.

Fagiano Okayama forward Mitchell Duke was Australia's top scorer in qualifying and his experience could come in handy for the Socceroos.

Tunisia qualified for the World Cup thanks to a well-organised defence, conceding just two goals in six outings, and they'll be relying heavily on the abilities of Ali Maaloul, Montassar Talbi and Nader Ghandri at the back.

Who could be the breakout stars in Group D?

France have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to household names, but Deschamps does like to mix experience with youth.

Several youngsters could be handed the chance to shine with Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni a prime candidate to prove his quality, while Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby also looks capable of stepping up on the big stage.

Denmark's starting XI almost names itself from goalkeeper through defence and into midfield, however, the forward line isn't quite as settled.

Martin Braithwaite is the most experienced option available, but his lack of goals could see 22-year-old Brentford forward Mikkel Damsgaard, who has struck four times in 16 caps, given the nod.

Who will win Group D?

It's hard to look beyond France when attempting to select a group winner, but the value really lies with Denmark.

The Danes beat France 2-1 in the Nations League when they met most recently at the Stade de France, while they also held the world champions to a goalless draw in the group stage of World Cup 2018.

It would be a major shock if either of Australia or Tunisia managed to force their way into the top two spots in Group D.

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