Denmark vs Tunisia
Tipped to be too hot to handle for Tunisia when they kick off their Qatar journey this midweek, Denmark embark on their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign at the Education City Stadium.
Placed alongside reigning world champions France in Group D, Denmark will hope to fly out of the traps following a near-perfect qualifying campaign (W9, L1) during which they conceded the joint-lowest three goals among the teams that played in a six-team group. Indeed, they registered more shutouts (8) in the group stage of European qualifying than any other nation. Last summer’s foray into the Euro 2020 semi-finals was no fluke, with Kasper Hjulmand’s men finishing second in a highly-competitive 2022/23 UEFA Nations League Group A1, above France and Austria. It’s also worth mentioning that ‘De Rød-Hvide‘ have made it out of the group stages in four of their five previous World Cup appearances despite never progressing beyond the quarter-finals.
In the meantime, Tunisia’s sixth appearance at a World Cup finals could be the one for the history books, considering they’ve never advanced into the tournament’s knockout rounds. However, the chances of Tunisia overcoming France and Denmark look slim, especially considering they’ve lost 60% of their World Cup fixtures (9/15). That accounts for the third-worst percentage by a team to have played at least 15 games in the competition. Additionally, the ‘Eagles of Carthage’ have kept a clean sheet only once in their 15 World Cup outings, conceding an average of 1.66 goals per game in that run. If that’s not enough to make head coach Jalel Kadri anxious, Tunisia’s abysmal ten-match winless record against European opposition at the World Cup (D3, L7) may do the trick.