2022 FIFA World Cup Preview and Predictions: Group D

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is fast approaching and we are bringing you a preview of every group ahead of the tournament, offering an insight into each team, as well as predictions as to who will progress to the knockout rounds. Below, we preview Group D that contains current champions France, fellow European outfit Denmark, Australia and Tunisia.

The Teams:





Group D Preview

Interestingly, France, Denmark and Australia are familiar enemies, with all three nations being placed in the same group at the last World Cup in 2018. They make up Group D at this year’s World Cup, alongside Tunisia. France and Denmark qualified out of the group four years ago and it would be a big shock if they did not do so again this time around.

Les Blues‘ squad for Qatar 2022 offers little surprises. Stars such as Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele are present but the midfield offers a change compared to recent years. N’golo Kante and Paul Pogba – who were two of Didier Deschamps’ most important players in Russia when they were crowned champions in 2018 – are unable to make the team due to injury.

Denmark comfortably secured qualification into the 2022 World Cup by topping Group F of the European qualifiers, dropping points in just one match out of the entire campaign. Atalanta’s Joakim Maehle and Andreas Skov Olsen finished as the Danes’ top goalscorers from qualifying and will be looking to leave an impact on the real competition here. Having reached the semi-finals at Euro 2020, the Danes will have confidence in making it deep into the competition here.

Australia have qualified for every World Cup since 2006 and so they will now play at their fifth consecutive World Cup finals. However, they have struggled once they have reached the finals, making it out of the group stage just once (Germany ’06). The Socceroos have only ever won two World Cup matches, one in 2006 and one in 2010. Undoubtedly, they miss their legend of the game in Tim Cahill who scored two goals at the 2006 World Cup, one in the 2010 edition and another two in Brazil in 2014.

Can France Retain the World Cup?

France will be looking to nurture fresh talent into the side, such as Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga, to help make up for the absences of Kante and Pogba. Real Madrid wonderkids Tchouameni and Camavinga will unequivocally see this as a chance to stake their claims in the national side for the next decade.

A mixture of youth and experience could help France become back-to-back winners, which would see them become just the third nation in history to retain the World Cup, alongside Italy and Brazil. Let us not forget veteran Olivier Giroud who makes yet another squad for France. The Milan forward has been ever-present at major tournaments for Deschamps since Euro 2012 and the 36-year-old is clearly someone Les Blues boss can trust. He could make an impact off the bench in Qatar.

Like England, France have also been on a torrid run of form heading into this year’s World Cup. Les Blues picked up just one win over the summer in their UEFA Nations League matches, drawing two and losing the other three. We’ll soon find out how important form is heading into the competition or if it all goes out of the window as soon as matchday one arrives.

Danish Delight

After the harrowing events that happened to Christian Eriksen at Euro 2020, Denmark went on to put in an admirable performance in the competition, reaching the semi-finals before being knocked out by England in extra time.

Surprisingly, the Danes only won one group match at Euro 2020 but an emphatic 4-1 win over Russia in the final group stage match, that saw Atalanta’s Joakim Maehle score the fourth in the win, put them into the knockout rounds.

A successful UEFA Nations League campaign will also give Denmark great confidence heading into the competition, beating France twice as they finished in second place in Group A. Kasper Dolberg and Skov Olsen were the goalscorers the last time Denmark and France met at the end of September and they will be hoping for a strong tournament here.

Socceroo Surprise, Tenacious Tunisia

It’s been a long journey to reach the Middle East but Australia have made it. Just. It was not simple for Australia to qualify for this year’s World Cup. After failing to gain automatic qualification from Group B of the Asian qualifiers, they had to play an additional play-off match against the United Arab Emirates.

The victory against UAE was far from simple either. Hellas Verona’s Ajdin Hrustic scored a dramatic 84th minute winner to hand Australia victory but they still hadn’t made it to Qatar quite yet. Graham Arnold’s side still had to go up against Peru in the inter-confederation play-off back in June. The Socceroos kept their nerve on penalties to knockout the South American outfit, especially since Hibernian forward Martin Boyle missed the first spot-kick for Australia. They’ve certainly worked hard to make it to Qatar.

Tunisia round up Group D and they will be hoping they can finally make it past the group stage. They have only ever won two World Cup matches in their history – once in 1978 against Mexico and also in 2018 against Panama. However, they put up a great fight in their 2018 World Cup opener against England, suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of a late Harry Kane winner. Head coach Jalel Kadri will need a good start against Denmark in their opening fixture if they’re to make it to the knockouts for the first time.

Key Fixture

Matchday two sees France and Denmark go head-to-head and considering the Danes’ recent success against the French, it will give them a huge mental edge when they meet on November 26 in Doha.

Ones to Watch

Adrien Rabiot has made somewhat of a comeback at Juventus after a summer move to Manchester United broke down. Deschamps has plenty of selection headaches ahead of the tournament and Rabiot’s upturn in form has made a strong case for him to be an integral part of the side.

Danish wing-back Maehle is proving to be a key asset for Kasper Hjulmand’s men, hurtling down the left flank and providing excellent attacking options. The 25-year-old scored five goals in qualification and he also provided three assists during the most recent Nations League matches.

Group D Final Prediction

France and Denmark are the clear favorites to qualify out of Group D and the former are one of the heavyweights that could make it all the way. That would have to go against the history books, however, since Les Blues failed to make it out of the groups in 2002 – the World Cup after their 1998 triumph – and they also failed to get past the group stage in 2010 after finishing as runners-up in 2006.

We’re also backing Denmark to progress to the knockout rounds, in light of their exploits at Euro 2020 and their impressive performances at the Nations League. They could even finish ahead of France, with their matchday two clash being key.

1. France

2. Denmark

3. Tunisia

4. Australia