Reigning champions France are not in the best of form heading into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and they will be facing familiar foes in Group D when they take on Denmark, with Australia and Tunisia completing the section.

France have won only one of their previous six matches and only narrowly avoided relegation from the top tier of the UEFA Nations League, but despite their poor form, Les Bleus remain the 2/5 favourites to top Group D.

Denmark beat France home and away during the Nations League and the Euro 2020 semi-finalists are 11/4 to top the section, while 12/1 Australia and 16/1 Tunisia seemingly face an uphill battle to reach the knockout stages.

France

There is arguably not a more talented squad of players in international football than the one at the disposal of France head coach Didier Deschamps, but despite that abundance of riches, things have not been going well for Les Bleus of late.

The 2018 World Cup winners are 6/1 to defend their title this winter, but they are not playing like champions at this current moment in time, picking up just five points from their six Nations League matches across June and September.

That included a 2-0 defeat in Denmark from their most recent fixture, which also underlined another worrying trend for France, as they have failed to score in two of their previous three matches and averaged less than a goal a game during the Nations League.

That is an astonishing stat given this France team contains the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema, albeit the latter was missing for the final round of Nations League fixtures.

A fit and firing Benzema could well be key to France’s chances of going all the way in Qatar – the Real Madrid star is 10/1 to finish as the tournament’s leading scorer.

France should also have no problems emerging from this group, but if they were to finish second in the standings then a potential heavyweight showdown with Argentina could await in the last 16.

Denmark

Denmark could well be considered dark horses to win the World Cup at odds of 28/1, but that may well be unfair given Kasper Hjulmand’s side reached the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and have just beaten France home and away in the Nations League.

No team picked up more points than the Danes in European qualifying for the finals and there is quality wherever you look within the squad, most notably Manchester United’s Christian Eriksen, whose comeback to the top of the world game has been fantastic to see.

Home and away defeats to Croatia in the Nations League must act as a warning for the Danes heading into the finals, but a top-two finish in Group D appears probable.

The key fixture in the group is likely to come at Stadium 974 on November 26 when Denmark take on France in a match that is likely to decide which nation finishes top of the standings (France 10/11, Draw 12/5, Denmark 3/1 – Match Result).

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Australia

Australia have qualified for a fifth successive World Cup finals, but they have failed to make it out of their group on their last four appearances, with their last victory at the tournament proper coming in 2010.

This is not a vintage Socceroos line-up and they rather limped through qualifying, coming through the playoffs via a penalty shootout victory over Peru.

Despite that, there is still quality within Graham Arnold’s squad, with plenty of excitement surrounding Cadiz winger Awer Mabil, who could be key to Australia’s chances of advancing from the group.

The clash with Tunisia on November 26 is likely to be a decisive fixture for the Aussies, but if they were to win that game and pick up a point against either France or Denmark, then they could still stand a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages (Tunisia 15/8, Draw 2/1, Australia 8/5 – Match Result).

Tunisia

Tunisia will be making their sixth appearance at the World Cup finals, but they have never made it beyond the group stage, registering just two wins from their previous 15 matches at the tournament.

Jalel Kadri’s side are once again outsiders to top the group at 16/1, but they should not be underestimated following an ongoing seven-match unbeaten run where they have not even conceded a goal.

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