2018 World Cup winners France highlight Group D, which also features European dark horse Denmark, intercontinental playoff champion Australia, and CAF representative Tunisia.
All four nations qualified for the 2018 edition in Russia, and oddly enough, France, Denmark, and Australia were paired together in Group C for that tournament, so these teams should know each other pretty well.
With significant results to look back on, we should have a good sense of what to expect from Group D.
World Cup Group D Winner Odds
Unsurprisingly, France are favored to win Group D, with Denmark priced shortly behind them. Australia and Tunisia are a long way back, so this group should be a two-horse race.
World Cup Group D Preview
France won the 2018 World Cup with an impressive run in Russia, winning their group before toppling Argentina, Uruguay, Belgium, and Croatia in the knockout rounds to win their second title.
The French breezed through their European World Cup qualifying group without losing a game but made a Round of 16 exit at Euro 2020 in a penalty shootout loss to Switzerland that saw star Kylian Mbappé miss the deciding kick.
There’s no denying that France have the most talented squad in this group, but they must overcome the obstacle of expectations. The defending World Cup champion has failed to qualify from the group stage in each of the last three instances, so the French must be well aware of the target on their backs.
Denmark were one of the stories of Euro 2020, as they reached the semifinal after watching their best player, Christian Eriksen, collapse on the pitch during their opening group stage match against Finland.
They also took 2018 World Cup runners-up Croatia to a penalty shootout in the Round of 16 in that tournament and have plenty of talented and experienced players to compete with anyone.
The Danes conceded just three goals in 10 qualifying matches and are anchored by a talented goalkeeper in Kasper Schmeichel. With Eriksen back in the fold, this team can make a run.
Australia needed a penalty-shootout victory over Peru in an intercontinental playoff to secure its spot in Qatar, but substitute goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne came up with the required save to send the Socceroos to their fifth-straight World Cup.
Getting out of the group has been a challenge, however, as Australia have only advanced into the Round of 16 once in their history — in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In 2018, they finished last behind France, Denmark, and (ironically enough) Peru, earning a single point in a 1-1 draw with the Danes.
This squad, anchored by goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and midfielder Aaron Mooy, likely doesn’t have enough supporting talent to make a run at winning the group.
Tunisia has only won two games in five previous trips to the World Cup, but they did win their most recent contest — a 2-1 victory over Panama that admittedly meant very little since both teams had already been eliminated prior to kickoff.
Still, this Tunisian side has experience now and some talented players including Wahbi Khazri, who currently sits second on the nation’s all-time goalscoring list (24). They nearly held England to a tie in their 2018 opener and will be happy to take advantage of any team that overlooks them.
World Cup Group D Winner Best Bet
As we saw at Euro 2020, the Danes are a dangerous team even when they aren’t at full strength. Christian Eriksen is typically the player that makes them tick, and adding him back into that midfield as a creative force will be a massive boost.
This bet should come down to Denmark’s game against France, which will be played after what should be a relatively easy opener against Tunisia. The two sides drew 0-0 in Russia, and I’m confident that Denmark can get another result against France in Qatar.
Betting on France at (-275) doesn’t offer much value, especially given the recent issue defending champions have had, so I much more prefer the value with Denmark here.
World Cup Group D Props
Denmark to Qualify from Group D (-200)
Denmark have only qualified for five previous World Cups (1986, 1998, 2002, 2010, and 2018), but they tend to make the most of their appearances.
In four of those five instances, the Danes have advanced from the group stage into the Round of 16. It is there that they’ve had the most trouble, only advancing to the quarterfinals once (1998).
Given Denmark’s talent level and recent major tournament results, these odds don’t feel right when juxtaposed against those of France (-1600), Australia (+275), and Tunisia (+300).
Taking Denmark at (-200) increases our liability on them, but it’s a good investment in case France wins the group and the Danes finish second as they did four years ago.