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FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Group D Preview

France are the outright favorites on face value. But this group isn’t necessarily clear-cut. Here’s why....

France v Croatia: UEFA Nations League - League Path Group 1
Can Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe power Les Bleus to a repeat world championship?
Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

World Cup Qatar is almost here! With just under a week left until the biggest competition in the world kicks off at Al Bayt Stadium, football fans around the globe have already caught World Cup fever.

The start of the tournament also marks the start of the World Cup fantasy game. Here’s a look at Group D, including its best fantasy options.


FBL-WC-2022-FRA-TRAINING Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

FIFA ranking: 4th

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Qualified via: Winning qualification group

2018 World Cup result: Champions

This Cup’s Group D is almost a repeat of 2018’s Group C, which also had France, Denmark, and Australia in it. Defending champion France is the clear favorite here. After a disappointing Euro 2020, Didier Deschamps’ men will look to make amends, but they’ll have to hurdles to overcome. Midfield maestros Paul Pogba & Ngolo Kante, crucial for France’s success in 2018, are out due to injuries.

Adding to this, Les Bleus are also up against the infamous World Champions curse. Since 2002, no European defending world champion has made it past the group stages. Coincidentally, France was the first to start this trend, when they won the World Cup in 1998 and then crashed out of the group stage in 2002. Will the class of 2022 end the trend their compatriots started? All signs point to yes.

Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris

Defenders: Theo Hernandez, Lucas Hernandez, Raphael Varane,William Saliba, Benjamin Pavard

Midfielders: Aurelien Tchouameni,Adrien Rabiot

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe

Penalty takers- Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe

Freekick-Antoine Griezmann

Corners-Antoine Griezmann

Fantasy Picks: Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Benjamin Pavard, Antoine Griezmann


Denmark vs France - UEFA Nations League Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images

FIFA ranking: 10th

Manager: Kasper Hjulmand

Qualified via: Winning qualification Group

2018 World Cup result: Round of 16

After a courageous display in Euro 2020, Denmark will have their tails up for this World Cup. It’s a miracle that Christian Eriksen will feature for Denmark just a year and a half after suffering an on-pitch cardiac arrest during Euro 2020. Eriksen will be crucial for Denmark’s qualification as the Manchester United midfielder is the linchpin of the Danish attack.

Apart from Eriksen, Denmark also has attacking winger Skov Olsen and midfield field marshal Pierre-Emile Højbjerg to rely on. Captain Simon Kjær, backed up by keeper Kasper Schmeichel, will be crucial for the Danes’ defensive stability, while left-back Joakim Mæhle will play an important role in Denmark’s attack. Denmark is the favorite to finish #2 in the group but could pose a serious threat to France’s odds of topping the group if they can get a result against the defending champions in MD-2.

Predicted Starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Kasper Schmeichel

Defenders: Joakim Mæhle, Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjær, Joachim Andersen, Daniel Wass

Midfielders: Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Skov Olsen

Forwards: Kasper Dolberg

Penalty takers-Christian Eriksen, Kasper Dolberg

Freekick- Christian Eriksen

Corners- Christian Eriksen

Fantasy Picks: Christian Eriksen, Joakim Mæhle, Andreas Skov Olsen, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Kasper Schmeichel


Melbourne City Media Opportunity Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

FIFA ranking: 38th

Manager: Graham Arnold

Qualified via: Inter-confederation play-off

2018 World Cup result: Group Stage

After a high-voltage qualifying campaign, Australia will look to make their efforts count in the World Cup group stages. Although Australia is not favored to go through in a difficult Group D, the Socceroos will not go down easily. Australia’s captain Matt Ryan is the first name on the team sheet and was an integral contributor to the successful qualifying campaign, making many crucial saves. Harry Souttar is Australia’s main man at the back. While remaining strong defensively, Souttar scored 6 headed goals in 10 World Cup qualifying games, making the Stoke City centre back a great target for set pieces. Aaron Mooy, Jacob Irvine, and Ajdin Hrustic make up a balanced midfield three for the Aussies. Hrustic has the highest goal threat among the trio while Irvine is the most creative.

Throughout their qualifying campaign, Australia has fielded many forwards. Jamie Mclaren is the pick of the bunch- The Melbourne City star was Australia’s top scorer in qualifiers and also takes penalties. Mclaren’s Melbourne City teammate Matthew Leckie is expected to start on the left while Hibernian FC winger Martin Boyle should feature on the right. The Aussies will look to use their physicality to counter the technical advantages the other teams in this group will have over them.

Predicted starting 11:


Goalkeeper: Matt Ryan

Defenders: Harry Souttar, Milos Degenek, Aziz Behich, Nathaniel Atkinson

Midfielders: Aaron Mooy, Jacob Irvine, Ajdin Hrustic

Forwards: Jamie Mclaren, Matthew Leckie, Martin Boyle

Penalty takers- Jamie Maclaren, Aaron Mooy

Freekick- Aaron Mooy, Ajdin Hrustic

Corners- Aaron Mooy, Ajdin Hrustic

Fantasy Picks: Jamie Maclaren, Matthew Leckie, Ajdin Hrustic, Harry Souttar


Brazil v Tunisia - International Friendly Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

FIFA ranking: 30th

Manager: Jalel Kadri

Qualified via: Third Round of the CAF qualifiers

2018 World Cup result: Group Stage

AFCON 2021 didn’t go as expected for Tunisia, as the North Africans were knocked out by Burkina Faso in the Round of 16. After this loss, Tunisia went on a six-game unbeaten streak, keeping six clean sheets in the process before losing 5-1 to Brazil. Tunisia will be tough to break down with an in-form Aymen Dahmen between the sticks. Left-back Ali Maaloul is important for Tunisia’s attack while Montassar Talbi is the rock at the back. Tunisia usually plays with a 2 man midfield with Ellyes Skhiri and Aissa Laïdouni expected to start there. Ben Slimani, Wahbi Khazri, Seifeddine Jaziri, and captain Youssef Msakni make up Tunisia’s front four, with Mskani playing the creative role while Khazri and Jaziri are the main goal scorers. Tunisia could make this an interesting group and have the potential to do the unthinkable.

Predicted starting 11:

Goalkeeper: Aymen Dahmen

Defenders: Ali Maaloul, Montassar Talbi, Mohamed Drager, Nader Ghandri

Midfielders: Ellyes Skhiri,Aissa Laïdouni

Forwards: Ben Slimane, Wahbi Khazri, Seifeddine Jaziri, Youssef Msakni

Penalty takers- Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni

Freekick takers- Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni

Corners- Wahbi Khazri

Fantasy Picks: Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Msakni, Seifeddine Jaziri, Aymen Dahmen, Ali Maaloul


All stats and info sourced from Allaboutfpl, Sofascore & Soccerwhiz

Ready to play fantasy FIFA World Cup 2022? Join our mini-league using this link:

League code: K2QVR5ZB

Then chart your pathway to success using our how-to guide to the official fantasy World Cup game, our Group Stage fixture difficulty table, and our previews of each of the other World Cup groups (either already published or coming soon)!


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Which team will win Group D?

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  • 32%
    (14 votes)
  • 2%
    (1 vote)
  • 62%
    (27 votes)
  • 2%
    (1 vote)
43 votes total Vote Now