Group D World Cup Qatar 2022 : favourites, analysis and calendar

The challenge of Group D of the 2022 World Cup: France next victim of the curse of the holder?

France in 2002, Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 then Germany in 2018: 4 of the last 5 world champions were eliminated in the first round of the following edition! And all the ingredients are there for the Blues to suffer the same affront in Qatar. Indeed, while the coronation during the 2ndedition of the League of Nations in the fall of 2021 had made it possible to restore serenity following the pitiful elimination in the round of 16 of the Euro on penalties against Switzerland (3-3, 4-5 tab), now the 3LdN has come back to question everything.

Opposed to… Denmark, who beat them twice, Croatia and Austria, the band of Didier Deschamps indeed finished only 3rdin their group with a cataclysmic record of 3 defeats, 2 draws and a small victoire. Add to that the recurring injuries of several executives like N'Golo Kanté and Paul Pogba and the prolonged poor form of Antoine Griezmann and you have everything from the perfect trap for the Habs. State of form of the frames, game system,…: there are still many questions.

That said, if the Blues arrive in Qatar without too many injuries and manage to sublimate themselves, the possibilities are immense for this group which has with Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema two of the most successful attackers of the moment.

Denmark, the real favourite?

Admittedly, the Danes are not the defending champions but, on the form of the last few months, the real favorites of this group, it is perhaps them! Semi-finalists of the last Euro, the band of Kasper Hjulmand still made waves by beating the Blues twice in the League of Nations and Croatia edged them by only one point at the top of the group to qualify for the Final Four.

Particularly united since the heart attack that occurred to Christian Eriksen during the Euro, the Scandinavians represent a real collective united and difficult to maneuver. And, when they accelerate the Mikkel Damsgaard, Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg and other Eriksen, are able to offer real good collective sequences. Arrived 2nd in their group behind France in 2018 and eliminated by Croatia on penalties in the round of 16 (1-1, 2-3 pens), the Nordics can clearly aspire to better this year.

Tunisia still too tender?

To shake up the hierarchy, it will be necessary to count in the first place on Tunisia. Falling into a strong group including England and Belgium in 2018, the Carthage Eagles had struggled to exist until their victory against Panama on a last day without challenges (2-1). This time, the group seems a little more open for the men of Jalel Kadri, appointed coach in February, after the failure in the quarter-finals of the last CAN against Burkina Faso (0-1).

Under his orders, the Tunisians eliminated Mali in the World Cup play-offs on the smallest of margins (1-0, 0-0). Overall, this selection knows how to be solid but sometimes lacks spontaneity in the game despite talents like Khazri, Msakni or Mejbri, the nugget of Manchester United. The 5-1 rout in a friendly against Brazil highlighted the gap that still separates the Carthage Eagles from the best.

Australia come a long way

To play a 5thconsecutive World Cup, the Socceroos had to go through a real obstacle course. Arrived only 3rd in their qualifying group in the Asia Zone behind Saudi Arabia and Japan, the Australians only edged the modest selection of Oman by a small point. Enough to win their ticket for two dams. First a regional, won on the wire against the United Arab Emirates (2-1), then another intercontinental against Peru where everything was decided this time on penalties (0-0, 5-4 pens) with in particular a decisive save by goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne, entered just before the session.

Solid defensively but often lacking in genius up front, Graham Arnold's men will have to do better than their 2018 record (one point taken, against Denmark) to hope to finally return to the knockout stage. For this, it would have been good to schedule friendly matches against opponents a little tougher than those the Australians already know (victory against Jordan in June and double success against New Zealand in September).


Group D 2022 World Cup – Their history at the World Cup:

  • Australia: participation6th ;16Round in 2006.
  • Denmark: 6th participation; quarter-final in 1998.
  • France: appearance16th ;2018.
  • Tunisia: 6thand participation; never made it past the first lap.

2022 World Cup Group D schedule

Tuesday, November 22

Denmark – Tunisia, at Education City Stadium, France – Australia, at Al Janoub Stadium

Saturday, November 26

Tunisia – Australia, at Al Janoub Stadium

France v Denmark, at Stade 974

Wednesday 30 November

Tunisia – France, at Education City Stadium

Australia – Denmark, at Al Janoub Stadium

 The star of Group D of the 2022 World Cup: Kylian Mbappé

At 23, the Paris Saint-Germain striker has already won many trophies, starting with the World Cup in 2018. At the time, the Habs was only a nugget to become but his double against Argentina in the round of 16 (4-3) then his goal in the final against Croatia (4-2) had already marked the spirits. In the meantime, the Parisian has asserted himself in one of the best clubs in the world and established himself as one of the leaders of the France group and he has saved the day many times in recent months with an eloquent recent record: 9 goals in his last 11 appearances. To go far, the Blues will need him and his strokes of genius.