The biggest football spectacle in the world, the FIFA World Cup, will get underway on November 20 in Qatar. Top nations around the globe will compete to be crowned Champions of this esteemed tournament. The 32 teams competing are split into eight groups of four, with each side playing the other three teams in its group once. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Round of 16.
Defending Champions France start their campaign in Group B where they will face Denmark, Tunisia, and Australia. No points for guessing, France and Denmark are the group’s heavyweights and will be expected to advance further in the tournament. Meanwhile, Australia and Tunisia will be looking to show some fight in addition to playing entertaining football.
France will be vying for a third World Cup title and a second in a row. Les Blues have the squad strength for repeating their amazing feat. Head coach Didier Deschamps will be eager to get things back on track after a disappointing UEFA Nations League campaign. Kylian Mbappe was a rising sensation when he last played in the quadrennial event. The PSG forward is at the peak of his powers and will be looking to light up Qatar.
Denmark stunned France twice in the Nations League, winning 2-1 and 2-0 against the World Champions. The Danes will look to repeat their stellar performances when they take on Deschamps’ side. Their main man will be Christian Eriksen who will be their creative force in midfield.
Australia and Tunisia have both played in five World Cups. However, it will be difficult for them to thump the European sides and earn a promotion from Group D.
Group D schedule:
Denmark vs Tunisia (Education City Stadium)- 6:30 pm IST
France vs Australia (Al Janoub Stadium) – 12:30 am IST
Australia vs Tunisia (Al Janoub Stadium) – 3:30 pm IST
France vs Denmark (Stadium 974) – 9:30 pm IST
Tunisia vs France (Education City Stadium) – 8:30 pm IST
Australia vs Denmark (Al Janoub Stadium) – 8:30 am IST
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Rennes).
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (AS Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Olympique de Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Olympique de Marseille).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Nice), Oliver Christensen (Hertha Berlin).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Joakim Maehle (Atalanta), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona), Rasmus Kristensen (Leeds United), Jens Stryger Larsen (Trabzonspor), Victor Nelsson (Galatasaray), Daniel Wass (Brondby).
Midfielders: Thomas Delaney (Sevilla), Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur).
Forwards: Andreas Skov Olsen (Club Bruges), Jesper Lindstrom (Eintracht Frankfurt), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol), Kasper Dolberg (Sevilla), Mikkel Damsgaard (Brentford), Jonas Wind (VfL Wolfsburg).
Goalkeepers: Mat Ryan (FC Copenhagen), Danny Vukovic (Central Coast Mariners), Andrew Redmayne (Sydney FC).
Defenders: Harry Souttar (Stoke City), Milos Degenek (Columbus Crew), Bailey Wright (Sunderland), Thomas Deng (Albirex Niigata), Fran Karacic (Brescia), Nathaniel Atkinson (Heart of Midlothian), Aziz Behich (Dundee United), Kye Rowles (Heart of Midlothian), Joel King (Odense Boldklub).
Midfielders: Aaron Mooy (Celtic), Jackson Irvine (FC St. Pauli), Ajdin Hrustic (Hellas Verona), Cameron Devlin (Heart of Midlothian), Riley McGree (Middlesbrough), Keanu Baccus (St Mirren).
Forwards: Jamie Maclaren (Melbourne City), Mitchell Duke (Fagiano Okayama), Jason Cummings (Central Coast Mariners), Garang Kuol (Central Coast Mariners), Awer Mabil (Cadiz), Mathew Leckie (Melbourne City), Craig Goodwin (Adelaide United), Martin Boyle (Hibernian).
Goalkeepers: Aymen Dahmen (Club Sportif Sfaxien), Mouez Hassan (Club Africain), Bechir Ben Said (US Monastir), Aymen Mathlouthi (Etoile du Sahel).
Defenders: Ali Abdi (Caen/FRA), Mohamed Drager (FC Luzern/SUI), Ali Maaloul (Al-Ahly/EGY), Wajdi Kechrida (Atromitos/GRE), Nader Ghandri (Club Africain), Yassine Meriah (Esperance), Bilel Ifa (Kuwait FC/KUW), Dylan Bronn (Salernitana/ITA), Montassar Talbi (Lorient/FRA).
Midfielders: Ellyes Skhiri (FC Cologne/GER), Ghaylen Chaalali (Esperance), Aissa Laidouni (Ferencvaros/HUN), Mohamed Ali Ben Romdhane (Esperance), Ferjani Sassi (Al-Duhail/QAT), Hannibal Mejbri (Birmingham/ENG).
Forwards: Youssef Msakni (Al-Arabi SC/QAT), Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek/EGY), Naim Sliti (Ettifaq/KSA), Issam Jebali (Odense Boldklub/DEN), Taha Yassine Khenissi (Kuwait SC/KUW), Anis Ben Slimane (Brondby/DEN), Wahbi Khazri (Montpellier/FRA).
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