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World Cup 2022 Group D Preview: France look to defend World Cup title

We’re breaking down Group D at the 2022 World Cup.

France v Croatia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Final Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to get underway from Qatar in mid-November, making it the first World Cup in history to take place during the winter. Group D has two clear favorites in France and Denmark, while Tunisia and Australia will look to secure some upsets and advance to the knockout rounds. Let’s take a closer look at Group D and how each team might fare ahead of the group stage.

France

The reigning World Cup champions are back to defend their title, making their seventh straight appearance in the tournament. They’ve got two titles to their name, most recently in Russia in 2018 as 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe had a breakout tournament, scoring four goals and earning the FIFA Young Player Award. Now 23 years old and one of the biggest superstars in the world, the PSG striker returns to the World Cup in hopes of winning back-to-back trophies.

He’ll be featured alongside other household names like Karim Benzema, Antoine Griezmann, Raphael Varane and Hugo Lloris as France’s stacked squad is favored to win the group.

Denmark

No. 10-ranked Denmark returns to the World Cup for the second straight year after reaching the round of 16 in 2018. They made waves last year in the delayed Euro 2020 tournament when star midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field during their tournament opener against Finland. Denmark went on to make a deep run to the semifinal in the Euros last year.

Eriksen is back on international duty as the Danes look to get past the round of 16 in the World Cup for the first time since 1998. He’ll be joined by the likes of Thomas Delaney, Andreas Christensen and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as Denmark look to be one of the dark horse contenders ahead of this year’s tournament.

Tunisia

Tunisia makes their second straight appearance, and their sixth overall as they look to advance past the group stage for the first time in their history. 2018 saw Tunisia win their second World Cup game ever — and their first since 1978 — with a 2-1 victory over Panama on the final matchday of the group stage. They’re led by Wahbi Khazri, a 31-year-old striker who plays for Ligue 1 side Montpellier Hérault SC, who has notched 24 goals in 71 caps for the Tunisian national team. He’ll need to come up huge for his side if they want to make some noise and upset the rest of the teams in their group, as they’re not expected to have much of a chance of advancing with France and Denmark in the mix.

Australia

Australia qualified for their fifth straight, and sixth overall, World Cup after grinding through 20 games of qualification that culminated in a win over Peru in an intercontinental playoff to book their spot. The Socceroos have only made it past the group stage once, when they were eliminated in the Round of 16 in Germany in 2006. They’re led by Matthew Ryan, a 30-year-old goalkeeper who currently plays for FC Copenhagen in the Danish Superliga. He’s amassed 74 caps for the Australian team while only conceding 69 goals in the process. He’ll be featured along with Bailey Wright, Ajdin Hrustic and Aaron Mooy as the No. 38-ranked nation will look to escape the group stage for the second time in their history.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds to win Group D

France: -225
Denmark: +225
Tunisia: +1600
Australia: +2500

Group D Schedule

Tuesday, November 22
France vs. Australia, 2 p.m. ET
Denmark vs. Tunisia, 8 a.m. ET

Saturday, November 26
France vs. Denmark, 11 a.m. ET
Tunisia vs. Australia, 5 a.m. ET

Wednesday, November 30
France vs. Tunisia, 10 a.m. ET
Denmark vs. Australia, 10 a.m. ET