World Cup 2022: France vs Denmark match preview

France will look to secure a spot in the next round as they face a Denmark side that underwhelmed in their first match.

A motion blurred picture of Mbappe from the side as he moves across the field kicking a ball
France's Kylian Mbappe in action [Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters]

Who: France v Denmark, Group D
Where: Stadium 974
When: Saturday, November 26, 7pm (16:00 GMT)
Head to head: France (8), Denmark (6) and two draws

Denmark are somewhat of a good luck charm for France, who encountered them at the group stage in 1998 and 2018 – the last two victorious World Cup campaigns for Les Bleus.

Denmark lacklustre in opening match

Denmark had been labelled “dark horses” by many pundits for the tournament, having been on a recent fine run of form that included beating France twice in the nations league.

However, perceptions of the Scandinavians have changed after they were bullied by Tunisia in a chest-thumping, high-octane opening match.

WCup Denmark Tunisia Soccer
Tunisia’s Ali Abdi, rear, and Denmark’s Andreas Skov Olsen challenge for the ball in what was a physical first match for Denmark [AP Photo/Hassan Ammar]

The Eagles of Carthage played with an intensity that took the spark out of the “Danish Dynamite” who slowly grew into the game, with Andreas Cornelius missing a gilt-edged chance in the final minutes.

France rampant against Australia

Meanwhile, France enjoyed a fine start to their World Cup campaign swatting aside the Socceroos 4-1 courtesy of an Olivier Giroud brace.

There will be slight concerns that they allowed Australia, who lacked real quality in their team, to open the scoring.

Just before the tournament began, Karim Benzema had to withdraw after failing to recover from a thigh injury. Still, France boast an embarrassment of riches up front with Kylian Mbappe, Antione Greizmann and Giroud as starters.

Giroud runs with his arms out as Dembele comes up behind him, smiling
France’s Olivier Giroud, right, celebrates with France’s Ousmane Dembele after scoring against Australia [AP Photo/Francisco Seco]

Denmark’s Thomas Delaney had to come off just before half-time on Tuesday and is a doubt for the match. He has been a stalwart of the Danish midfield over the past years and also impressed atthe

club level for Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla.

The Danes will look to Christian Eriksen to orchestrate Danish play against a strong France team. He did show flashes of brilliance against Tunisia but will need to raise his game against superior opposition.

Besides Benzema, France are missing several key players, including Pogba and Kante, who were unable to travel to Qatar because of injury. However, they will feel confident that their replacements, Real Madrid’s duo of Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga as well as Juventus’ Adrien Rabiot, who scored against Australia, will be able to fill in the gap.

A win will see France secure a spot in the last 16. If Denmark win instead, they will fancy their chances of coming second in the group, as they will face an Australian side next that looked disjointed and lacking any real quality in their opening match.

Source: Al Jazeera