Denmark’s recent win over France will add some extra fire to an already compelling game. The defending World Cup champions will want redemption, making France vs Denmark in Group D a must-see early game.
France vs. Denmark, Group D qualifying match
Stadium 974, Qatar 2022
Saturday 26 November, 11.00 US EST, 16.00 GMT UK, 19.00 local time
Two big names in European football meet at Stadium 974 on November 26, when World Cup trophy holders and defending champions France take on Denmark in Group D.
France and Denmark are joined by Tunisia and Australia in Group D. The winner of this game most likely tops the group and faces the runner up from a tight Group C in the Round of 16 – potentially any one of Argentina, Poland and Mexico.
Les Underperforming Bleus
Based on current FIFA world-ranking, France are #3 and Denmark #11, though recent results suggest the gap isn’t so great.
With the UEFA Nations League in full swing, these two teams just happen to be in the same League A, Group 1 – with startlingly contrasting records.
Having played four matches, Denmark tops the group on 9 points, with France bottom on just 2. The Danes have won 3, lost 1; France are still looking for a win, but have drawn 2.
After losing to Croatia, France cannot retain their trophy won in the 2020-21 season.
On June 3, Denmark beat France 2-1, in Paris – making them only the fifth team to have beaten Les Blues at home at the Stade de France. They play again on September 26 – exactly two months ahead of this World Cup tie.
If Denmark wins again, imagine the confidence they’ll take into Group D. And how bruised the France camp will feel. If France can somehow turn things around, their headspace might be very different come November.
But without a doubt they need to get something going. This could be the redemption story of Qatar 2022 if France get it together in time for the big one.
Players To Watch – France
Champions League winner and possible Ballon d’Or frontrunner Karim Benzema has had a season to remember, and will hope to carry his astonishing form on to the biggest stage. He’s slotted a mesmerizing 42 goals home for Real in the Champions League and La Liga this season. Also, hard not to mention Kylian Mbappe (with 39 goals across all competitions for PSG this season).
Christopher Nkunku, Bundesliga Player of the Year, looks poised to announce himself to the world’s biggest clubs, although the rumour mill has already expressed interest from Manchester United and Arsenal. The 24-year-old midfielder notched up 20 goals and 13 assists in 34 matches this season.
Sevilla defender Jules Kounde was also on our list, ready to enter the conversation around the world’s best young defenders. But the 23-year-old is undergoing surgery on a long-term injury that has potentially blown up a transfer to Chelsea and it’s not yet known if he’ll be on the plane to Qatar. Didier Deschamps was not wholly forthcoming with the extent of the inuury or how long Kounde may be sidelined.
Players To Watch – Denmark
Christan Eriksen, famously back in form having suffered cardiac arrest at Euro 2020, is played the full 90 minutes in the win over France. The Brentford (Man Utd?) attacker had a knack for finding space and will keep any defence on their toes.
Leicester City centre back Jannik Vestergaard seems to have wrestled control of the starting position at the back after a string of brilliant performances. Starting in his last four games for Denmark has seen three victories and one clean sheet.
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Head-to-head: France vs Denmark
Historically, the record in World Cup tournaments couldn’t be more balanced: Three meetings – all in group stages – with one win, one draw and one loss between them.
In France 1998, the two teams were in the same group, France winning their encounter 2-1. Both teams qualified, with Denmark beating Nigeria 4-1, before going out in the quarterfinals, albeit narrowly at 3-2, to eventual finalists Brazil.
In that final, Zinedine Zidane scored twice to lead France to a convincing 3-0 win, lifting the trophy on home soil.
Four years later, in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, France failed to qualify from Group A, Denmark winning that encounter 2-1 in South Korea.
The two sides last met on the World Cup stage at the last tournament, in Russia in 2018. Again, both teams qualified – France top, Denmark second after they drew 0-0. Incidentally, Australia was also in their qualifying group that year.
Denmark again went out to eventual finalists, this time Croatia in the Round of 16, while France again went all the way to glory, winning the final 4-2.
UEFA Nations League, June 3: Denmark 2-1 France
The wounds are fresh for France having just lost to Denmark 2-1 in Paris.
Despite 19 shots on goal, only six were on target. That said, Karim Benzema, fresh off propelling Real Madrid to their 14th Champions League title, forced troubling saves from Kasper Schmeichel between Denmark’s posts.
Benzema finally broke the deadlock in the 51st minute after combining with Christopher Nkunku and some clever footwork to net the opener.
The turning point for the Danes came when manager Kasper Hjulmand brought on Andreas Cornelius in the 60th minute. Eight minutes later, he volleyed home the equalizer off a cross from Tottenham’s Pierre Hojbjberg.
Denmark kept up the relentless pressure, resulting in a Cornelius near-post bullet in the 88th for his brace and the winner.
How to watch France vs Denmark, World Cup Group D
In the US, on Fox Sports/FS1 at 11.00 (English); Telemundo (Spanish)
Fox Sports holds English-language rights, and will air all 64 matches live across the Fox and FS1 channels. All games will also stream live on the Fox Sports app.
NBCUniversal’s Telemundo holds Spanish-language rights in the US.
In the UK, on ITV at 16.00
In the UK, the BBC and ITV share coverage rights, between them showing all matches. Here is the whole schedule for both channels – who is showing what, when.
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