Our 2022 World Cup futures betting previews move along once more with a breakdown of a slightly predictable looking Group D. Entering November, it looks like two European nations should advance out of the group as defending champions France and Euro 2020 semifinalists Denmark are likely to secure the top two spots. As we make our soccer betting picks for Group D, the question is whether or not anyone can challenge the defending champions.
France are -250 favorites at most sportsbooks who have World Cup Group D betting odds on offer. Denmark are priced at +275 to beat France to take the top spot in Group D and are priced extremely short to secure qualification into the knockout rounds at -250 odds. Australia and Tunisia are very long underdogs in Group 2, with oddsmakers pricing the Socceroos at +1400 and Tunisia at +1600.
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Denmark were the neutral’s nation of choice for footy fans at the Euros last summer, capturing the hearts of sports fans through making a run deep into the tournament after facing the adversity of seeing one of their own players suffer cardiac arrest mid-match.
Midfielder Chirstian Eriksen recovered from the scare he suffered at the Euros and is back playing at a world class level as one of the best players for Manchester United so far this season. Eriksen will hope his presence can help Denmark match similar success as to what they experienced in his absence at the Euros and go deep into the knockout rounds in Qatar.
Denmark has a great chance of qualifying for the knockout round at the World Cup for the second consecutive time. Thanks in part largely to the experienced roster that has found a way to win at major tournaments. Players such as goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, centerback Simon Kjaer, winger Yussuf Poulsen, Thomas Delaney and Andreas Christensen have featured in the majority of Denmark’s triumphs in the past five years and that experience should see them over the line.
Part of Denmark’s luck at the Euros did come down to a favorable knockout draw. Denmark faced Wales in the Round of 16, beating them 4-0 before drawing Czech Republic in the Quarterfinal and winning 2-1 after taking a 2-0 lead into halftime. In fact, Denmark sneaked into the knockout round after losing their first two matches of the group stage against Finland and Belgium. Getting to the semifinal was an incredible achievement but it did require some luck along the way for Denmark to get there that they might also need in Qatar.
Denmark will also share a group with France for the second straight World Cup. The Danes managed to shock the French in the final group stage match in Russia, holding to a Nil-Nil draw. If they can repeat that performance in Qatar and get a result against France, they could just steal Group D as +275 underdogs to win the group.
The defending World Cup holders are back and hopeful to defend their title in Qatar. France once again are amongst the bookies favorites to win the whole thing, sitting second behind Brazil at +600 odds to lift the World Cup.
France will have to overcome the absence of veteran central midfielder Paul Pogba, who will not be back in time from injury to participate in Qatar. Even worse, France will be without his partner in the middle of the pitch as N’Golo Kante has also been ruled out with a hamstring problem to give manager Didier Deschamps some thinking to do on how to replace two longtime leaders in the midfield.
Luckily, France has one of the deepest squads in the field and have another 5-6 talented midfielders at their disposal to replace Pogba and Kante. They also will have one of the most dangerous attacks in the tournament as Kylian Mbappe, Karim Benzema and Ousmane Dembele make up one of the scariest trios of forwards we will see in Qatar.
If anything, the absences of the two elder statesmen will make way for younger and still talented players to become global stars on the big stage. So long as they avoid an implosion of the highest order, expect France to top Group D and move on to the knockout stage.
Average Australia, Terrible Tunisia
Australia will play in yet another World Cup after earning qualification in a playoff against Peru. The Socceroos won a dramatic shootout against Peru thanks to the heroics of substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and are already making an impact off the pitch in calling for Qatar to improve their human rights standards.
Tunisia will play in their fifth World Cup and should continue their legacy of failing to make it out of their group stage as the clear worst squad of the four Group 2 teams. They might not even make it to Qatar as Tunisia are one of a handful of teams seemingly facing a potential disqualification. FIFA has warned the Tunisian government to refrain from engaging with political interference towards them and could potentially ban the nation from participating at the tournament.
The Socceroos won their World Cup when they beat Peru in the qualification playoff and despite being the more likely of the two underdog nations to shock France or Denmark, simply just don’t have the quality to get out of this group. Unless Australia puts forward some incredible defensive performances, the firepower of France and Denmark should see them through in Group D.