FIFA World Cup 2022 Group D: What to expect from reigning champion France and Eriksen’s Denmark?

Group D has clear favorites in terms of qualification with defending champion France, Denmark, Tunisia and the winner of Inter-Continental Playoff 1 (Peru vs Australia / United Arab Emirates).

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With France being most likely to top the group and qualify for the Round of 16, Denmark, on paper, looks most likely to be the second team to join the knockout phase from Group D.

France

Reigning world champion France will be playing in its 16th World Cup. The Qatar World Cup in 2022 will be its seventh successive participation in the competition since the finals in 1998 when the country won its first title.

Didier Deschamp’s France qualified for Qatar 2022 after finishing as the winner of UEFA Group D. It will start its campaign against the winner of the Inter-Continental Playoff 1.

France’s Hugo Lloris lifts the trophy as they celebrate winning the World Cup against Croatia, July 15, 2018. – REUTERS

Les Blues have one of the most star-studded squads in world football. With players like Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane, Dayot Upemecano and Benjamin Pavard (winner of the goal of the tournament in 2018), France has world-class players in every position. Younger players like Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni will also add depth to the squad.

France had an undefeated qualifying campaign. Out of the eight matches it played, it won five and drew three. It scored 18 goals and conceded just three.

Manager: Didier Deschamps

France’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
66 34 13 19 120 77

Denmark

Denmark, which reached the Round of 16 in the 2018 edition, will be playing its sixth World Cup in Qatar. It is contesting successive World Cups for the second time in history. The last time Denmark played successive World Cups was in the 1998 and the 2002 editions.

Denmark qualified for Qatar 2022 after finishing as the winner of UEFA Group F. It will play its first match against Tunisia.

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Denmark’s Christian Eriksen with coach Kasper Hjulmand as he is substituted against Serbia, March 29, 2022. – REUTERS

All eyes will be on Denmark’s Christian Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest against Finland in the European Championship in 2021, when he returned to his national team and scored goals against Netherlands and Serbia in consecutive matches.

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Players like Simon Kjaer and Andres Christensen will provide stability in the backline while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will be an important presence in midfield and will look to create chances for the forwards like Martin Braithwaite, Jonas Wind and Yussuf Poulsen.

Denmark enjoyed an almost perfect qualifying campaign where it played 10 matches and won nine, while losing one. It scored 30 goals and conceded just three.

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand

Denmark’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
20 9 5 6 30 26

Tunisia

Tunisia will be participating in its sixth overall World Cup and second consecutive one after participating in the 2018 edition in Russia.

Making its World Cup debut in 1978, Tunisia created history after becoming the first African team to score in a World Cup final when it defeated Mexico 3-1 in its opening game. Tunisia has never made it to the knockouts phase of a World Cup.

Tunisia qualified for the World Cup after defeating Mali (1-0 on aggregate) in the Third Round of the CAF qualifiers. It will play its opening match against Denmark.

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Youssef Msakni and Seifeddine Jaziri are the players to watch out for in the Tunisian national team. Manchester United youth player Hannibal Mjebri will be an exciting prospect for the team.

Tunisia played eight matches out of which it won five, drew two and lost one. It scored 12 goals and conceded two in the World Cup Qualifying campaign.

Manager: Jalel Kadri

Tunisia’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
15 2 4 9 13 25

Peru / Australia / United Arab Emirates

Peru

Peru has played in five World Cups (2018, 1982, 1978, 1970, 1930) and enjoyed its best-ever finish in a World Cup in 1970 when it finished seventh.

It is one win away from qualification for Qatar 2022 and will play the winner of Australia vs the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

If it wins that match, it will be the final entrant in Group D.

Manager: Ricardo Gareca

Peru’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
18 5 3 10 21 33

Australia

Australia has contested five World Cups (1974, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018). It enjoyed its best-ever finish in the 2006 edition where it reached the Round of 16.

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Australia needs to win two matches to qualify for its fifth successive World Cup. It needs to defeat the UAE and then Peru in order to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Manager: Graham Arnold

Australia’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
16 2 4 10 13 31

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has qualified for just one World Cup in its history, which was the 1990 edition of the tournament in Italy.

UAE faces stiff competition from Australia and Peru to qualify for the World Cup. It first needs to defeat Australia to qualify for the next stage where it will face Peru.

Manager: Bert van Marwijk

UAE’s World Cup record –

Played Won Drew Lost GF GA
3 0 0 3 2 11

Here’s the full list of FIFA World Cup 2022 Group D fixtures and timings (IST)

Match At your place Fixtures Time Venue
1 November 22 France vs UAE / Australia / Peru 6:30 pm Education City Stadium
2 November 22 Denmark vs Tunisia 3:30 pm At the Janoub Stadium
3 November 27 France vs Denmark 00:30 am Lusail Stadium
4 November 26 Tunisia vs UAE / Australia / Peru 9:30 pm Ras Abu Aboud Stadium
5 November 30 Tunisia vs France 6:30 pm Education City Stadium
6 November 30 UAE / Australia / Peru vs Denmark 3.30 pm At the Janoub Stadium

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