Group D Match-day 1 Preview

FIFA World Cup

2022-11-22

Eddy Cheung

Playing on the same day as Group C, Group D will also make their debut on Tuesday November 22.

Group D Match-day 1 Preview

Following strong debuts by expected cup contenders England, Netherlands and (most likely) Argentina, it's time for the reigning World Cup champions to make their much awaited debut, as well as a Danish side that is looking to surprise many.

Denmark vs Tunisia

Their first time ever meeting in an official match, Denmark and Tunisia come into this tournament on the back of very different situations - historically and present.

Will history repeat itself? 

On one hand, Denmark has never lost against any of the African rivals it has faced during World Cups, with a record of two wins and two draws. Tunisia, meanwhile, has never managed to snag a win against an UEFA team, having drawn three games and lost seven.

The Danish also have a fantastic record in their World Cup opening matches, winning four out of the five they’ve competed in. The only loss came against the Netherlands in 2010, with a score of 0-2. Another interesting fact is that they have managed to advance to the next round of the competition every time they win their first match.

While Qatar 2022 will be Tunisia's sixth appearance at the FIFA World Cup, they boast the unfortunate record of never being able to make it past the group stage. The African side has also failed to keep a clean sheet in 14 of their 15 World Cup matches, conceding 25 goals in the process.

The only time these two teams have ever met was in a friendly in Japan dating 20 years back, in which Denmark won 2-1.

Tunisia comes into the tournament on a great run of form, losing just one of their last nine matches. However, they are considered big underdogs in this match against a Danish side that aspires to a deep run in Qatar.

Having made it all the way to the Semi-finals of the Euro 2020, there are plenty of high expectations being placed on the Nordic side and some of its key players, such as Mikkel Damsgaard, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Kasper Dolberg, and captain Christian Eriksen.

With Denmark boasting a fantastic defense and Tunisia unable to consistently find the net this past year, looking into a Denmark win while keeping a clean sheet might have good value at 2.25 at Betway.

France vs Australia

The reigning champion meets the boys from down under for what is sure to be an electric match!

While, historically, France has proven to be a much stronger side than their Aussie counterparts, there are many factors at play that could complicate things for the French side - some more tangible than others.

Can France Beat the Curse?

The Curse of the World Cup winners might seem like an old wives tale, but as superstitions go, it will not be an easy one to shake. After all, cold hard facts have proven that retaining the crown is not an easy task.

It’s not just that no team has managed to win a back-to-back World Cup since Brazil in 1962, but in recent history, Italy, Spain, Germany and even France themselves, have all been eliminated in the group stage after winning the previous championship.

As if that was not troubling enough, the French side had come into the tournament missing at least 5 of its starters, having lost Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, Christopher Nkunku, Paul Pogba and Mike Maignan to injury. 

Add to that only one win from their last six matches and losses against Croatia and Denmark and you have to wonder if the French are indeed the curse’s next victim.

That being said, France is considered by the books as the clear favourite to win this match with odds of 1.25.

Australia looking for redemption

Going into their 6th World Cup appearance, the Socceroos have only ever been able to advance to the next round once - in Germany in 2006 -  and have only won one of their last nine games, having beat Serbia 2 to 1 in 2010.

Looking to end their run of three group-stage exits in a row, Australia is starting off their WC campaign facing off against a familiar foe, having faced off against France in the group stage of Russia 2018.

Losing out 2-1 thanks to an Antoine Griezmann penalty and an own goal by Aziz Behich, the Socceroos managed to keep the future World Cup champions closer than most expected and will be looking to do the same again when given the opportunity on Tuesday.

There’s not much value in France to win, but if you believe the Curse might strike again or, more pragmatically, that France’s injuries will disrupt their winning ways, betting on “Draw or Australia” at odds of 3.8 on Betway seems like a great payoff.

Best gambling quote: “Gambling is not about how well you play the games, it’s really about how well you handle your money.”

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