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2022 World Cup Group D preview, teams, odds, more: Can France repeat?

Kylian Mbappe France World Cup Group D preview
FILE – France’s Kylian Mbappe scores his side’s first goal during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between France and Austria at the Stade de France stadium in Saint Denis, outside Paris, France,Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

The defending World Cup champions, France, highlight the field in Group D, but a top-10 team with a returning hero will be keen on becoming the darlings of the tournament in Qatar. 

2022 World Cup Group D preview

Australia

Australia World Cup
The Australian national soccer team, the Socceroos, pose for a photo before the start of a friendly soccer international between Australia and New Zealand in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Dan Peled)
  • FIFA Rank: 38th
  • Qualification: Defeated Peru in inter-confederation play-off
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 5
  • Best finish: Round of 16 (2006)
  • Odds to win group: +2500
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +400
  • Odds to win World Cup: +40000

Australia is the minnow of this group which had to survive a dizzying qualifying campaign just to make it to Qatar. The Socceroos are a physical team with nowhere near the firepower to keep up with the other teams in this group, so they’ll live and die by the counter-attack — meaning they’ll be bossed in the possession game.

X-Factor: Aaron Mooy The Celtic stalwart will play the pivotal role of setting that physical tone in the midfield for Australia, but he has the quality and experience playing in Scotland and before that, the Premier League, to spark the counter.

Australia World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan Copenhagen
Goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne Sydney FC
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic Central Coast Mariners
Defender Milos Degenek Columbus Crew
Defender Fran Karacic Brescia
Defender Nathaniel Atkinson Hearts
Defender Bailey Wright Sunderland
Defender Aziz Behich Dundee United
Defender Kye Rowles Hearts
Defender Harry Souttar Stoke
Defender Joel King OB
Defender Thomas Deng Albirex Niigata
Midfielder Ajdin Hrustic Verona
Midfielder Aaron Mooy Celtic
Midfielder Riley McGree Middlesbrough
Midfielder Jackson Irvine St. Pauli
Midfielder Keanu Baccus St. Mirren
Midfielder Cameron Devlin Hearts
Forward Martin Boyle Hibernian
Forward Mathew Leckie Melbourne City
Forward Jamie Maclaren Melbourne City
Forward Awer Mabil Cadiz
Forward Mitchell Duke Fagiano Okayama
Forward Craig Goodwin Adelaide United
Forward Jason Cummings Central Coast Mariners
Forward Garang Kuol Central Coast Mariners

 

Denmark

Christian Eriksen Denmark World Cup
Denmark’s Christian Eriksen is in action during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Croatia and Denmark at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, Croatia, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
  • FIFA Rank: 10th
  • Qualification: Group F winners in UEFA qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 5
  • Best finish: Quarterfinals (1998)
  • Odds to win group: +225
  • Odds to make knockout stage: -280
  • Odds to win World Cup: +2500

The Danes are certainly a team to watch at the tournament. They went 9-0-1 in World Cup qualifying and have recently defeated France in Nations League play. They play a high-pressing style of play and have the talent to rip teams apart through all three portions of the pitch.

X-Factor: Christian Eriksen Roughly 16 months after his cardiac arrest in the European Championships, Denmark’s talisman will lead his team at the World Cup — a remarkable comeback that has already been in motion for some time. He has played well with Manchester United but has a chance to star in Qatar given his versatile playmaking skills within Denmark’s midfield as an attacking threat.

Denmark World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel Nice
Goalkeeper Oliver Christensen Hertha Berlin
Goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow Union Berlin
Defender Simon Kjaer AC Milan
Defender Joachim Andersen Crystal Palace
Defender Daniel Wass Brondby
Defender Joakim Maehle Atalanta
Defender Andreas Christensen Barcelona
Defender Rasmus Kristensen Leeds United
Defender Jens Stryger Larsen Trabzonspor
Defender Victor Nelsson Galatasaray
Defender Alexander Bah Benfica
Midfielder Thomas Delaney Sevilla
Midfielder Mathias Jensen Brentford
Midfielder Christian Eriksen Manchester United
Midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg Tottenham
Midfielder Christian Norgaard Brentford
Forward Yussuf Poulsen RB Leipzig
Forward Andreas Skov Olsen Club Brugge
Forward Jesper Lindstrom Eintracht Frankfurt
Forward Andreas Cornelius Copenhagen
Forward Martin Braithwaite Espanyol
Forward Jonas Wind Wolfsburg
Forward Kasper Dolberg Sevilla
Forward Robert Skov Hoffenheim
Forward Mikkel Damsgaard Brentford

 

France

Karim Benzema France World Cup
FILE – France’s Karim Benzema, left, challenges for the ball with Denmark’s Victor Nelsson during the UEFA Nations League soccer match between France and Denmark at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, France, Friday, June 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias, File)
  • FIFA Rank: 4th
  • Qualification: Group D winner in UEFA qualifying
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 15
  • Best finish: Champions (1998, 2018)
  • Odds to win group: -225
  • Odds to make knockout stage: -1400
  • Odds to win World Cup: +700

The defending champions still have plenty to prove, especially after being knocked out by Switzerland in the Round of 16 at Euro 2020. Regardless, Les Bleus still has one of the most imposing collective rosters of talent at the tournament, which means another deep run at the World Cup is expected.

X-Factor: Kylian Mbappe This spot was originally reserved for Karim Benzema — the Real Madrid star and reigning Ballon d’Or winner who broke back into his national team side after a six-year hiatus. But a thigh injury in training Saturday has knocked him out of the tournament in a massive blow for Les Bleus. Even more pressure to put on the brilliant Mbappe, whose coming out party came four years ago in Russia as the French lifted the trophy.

France World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris Tottenham
Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola West Ham
Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda Rennes
Defender Benjamin Pavard Bayern Munich
Defender Jules Kounde Barcelona
Defender Raphael Varane Manchester United
Defender Theo Hernandez AC Milan
Defender Lucas Hernandez Bayern Munich
Defender Axel Disasi Monaco
Defender Dayot Upamecano Bayern Munich
Defender Ibrahima Konate Liverpool
Defender William Saliba Arsenal
Midfielder Eduardo Camavinga Real Madrid
Midfielder Youssouf Fofana Monaco
Midfielder Matteo Guendouzi Marseille
Midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni Real Madrid
Midfielder Adrien Rabiot Juventus
Midfielder Jordan Veretout Marseille
Forward Ousmane Dembele Barcelona
Forward Olivier Giroud AC Milan
Forward Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid
Forward Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Forward Kylian Mbappe PSG
Forward Christopher Nkunku RB Leipzig
Forward Kingsley Coman Bayern Munich
Forward Marcus Thuram Borussia Mönchengladbach

 

Tunisia

Tunisia World Cup
Tunisia players pose for a team picture during the international friendly soccer match between Brazil and Tunisia at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
  • FIFA Rank: 30th
  • Qualification: Defeated Mali in CAF 3rd Round
  • Previous World Cup appearances: 5
  • Best finish: Group Stage (’78, ’98, ’02, ’06, ’18)
  • Odds to win group: +1600
  • Odds to make knockout stage: +300
  • Odds to win World Cup: +50000

A veteran team, especially up front, will sit with Australia as the underdogs of the group. But a hard-working midfield and a stout defense ensure Tunisia will be a tough out.

X-Factor: Youssef Msakni The Tunisian winger has been ripping it up for Al Arabi in Qatar, scoring 13 goals in 24 appearances during his loan spell with the club. He has scored 17 goals with the Tunisian national team and is considered one of their very best options up front. The 32-year-old will also have a chip on his shoulder after missing out on the 2018 World Cup due to injury.

Tunisia World Cup Roster

Position Player Club
Goalkeeper Aymen Dahmen CS Sfaxien
Goalkeeper Bechir Ben Said US Monastir
Goalkeeper Mouez Hassen Club Africain
Goalkeeper Aymen Mathlouthi Etoile Sahel
Defender Ali Abdi Caen
Defender Dylan Bronn Salernitana
Defender Mohamed Drager Luzern
Defender Nader Ghandri Club Africain
Defender Bilel Ifa Kuwait SC
Defender Wajdi Kechrida Atromitos
Defender Al Maaloul Al Ahly
Defender Yassine Meriah Esperance
Defender Montassar Talbi Lorient
Midfielder Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane Esperance
Midfielder Ghaylane Chaalali Esperance
Midfielder Aissa Laidouni Ferencvaros
Midfielder Hannibal Mejbri Birmingham City
Midfielder Ferjani Sassi Al Duhail
Midfielder Elyas Skhiri Cologne
Forward Anis Ben Slimane Brondby
Forward Seifeddine Jaziri Zamalek
Forward Issam Jebali Odense
Forward Wahbi Khazri Montpellier
Forward Taha Yassine Khenissi Kuwait
Forward Youssef Msakni Al Arabi
Forward Naim Sliti Al Ittifaq

*Odds courtesy of DraftKings

 

2022 World Cup Group D schedule

Date Match Time TV
Tuesday, Nov. 22 Denmark v. Tunisia 8 AM FS1
Tuesday, Nov. 22 France Australia 2 PM FOX
Saturday, Nov. 26 Tunisia v. Australia 5 AM FS1
Saturday, Nov. 26 France v. Denmark 11 AM FOX
Wednesday, Nov. 30 Tunisia v. France 10 AM FOX
Wednesday, Nov. 30 Australia v. Denmark 10 AM FS1

For more on the 2022 FIFA World Cup, visit AMNY.com

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