- France Vs Denmark Football Score Match 26 Nov 2022
France can seal a place in the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup when they resume Group D duties against Denmark at Stadium 974 on Saturday evening. Les Bleus thumped Australia 4-1 this week to kick off the defence of their crown in perfect fashion, while Kasper Hjulmand’s men were held to a goalless draw by Tunisia. Two former Arsenal strikers can now proudly boast to sit atop the all-time goalscoring charts for the France men’s team, but Thierry Henry may not be sitting pretty on his perch for much longer following Olivier Giroud’s record-equalling brace versus Australia on Tuesday.
Didier Deschamps’s men had under-performed in the UEFA Nations League over the summer and conceded within the first nine minutes to Craig Goodwin, but Giroud’s 50th and 51st goals for France – alongside headers from Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe – turned the game on its head. Taking advantage of Karim Benzema’s absence through injury, Giroud only needs to make the net ripple one more time to overtake Henry and score a record-breaking 52nd goal for his country – one which may very well confirm France’s place in the last 16.
The reigning world champions are sitting pretty at the top of Group D and will be guaranteed a ticket to the knockout rounds with victory, and they could even confirm top spot should they win and Tunisia’s showdown with Australia end in a draw. Not since Brazil in 2006 had the World Cup holders won their opening game of the tournament, but having banished that curse, France can now endeavour to win six games in a row at a World Cup finals for the first time in their history – the last team to achieve such a feat were the golden generation of Spain in 2010.
While Christian Eriksen – making his first major tournament appearance for Denmark since his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 – was able to demonstrate some of the midfield flair that has made him a hit with the Manchester United fans, the Red and Whites’ opener with Tunisia was otherwise a forgettable affair. The two sides played out one of a few 0-0 draws to take place in round one, but Tunisia would have felt the most aggrieved not to have come away with all three points, even if they had to survive a late VAR check for a possible penalty on Yassine Meriah’s handball.
Hjulmand has now admitted that his side face a “complicated” situation in Group D, where they currently occupy third place – separated from second-placed Tunisia on fair play points – but they will still be in with a chance of a top-two finish no matter what transpires this weekend. A slice of history could also be on the line for the Scandinavian nation here, as they have drawn each of their last four World Cup matches and could now become only the second side to play out five successive stalemates on the biggest global stage, but there are a couple of good omens for this Denmark side who have now kept three clean sheets in their last four games.
Indeed, their final match before the World Cup saw them run out 2-0 winners over France in the Nations League – having also claimed a 2-1 victory in June – and they also overcame Les Bleus 2-0 in the group stage of the 2002 World Cup, when France were defending champions. France have been plagued by injuries since before Deschamps named his squad, after Deschamps named his squad and now during their World Cup adventure, with left-back Lucas Hernandez tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the build-up to Goodwin’s goal for Australia on Tuesday.
The Bayern Munich man is unsurprisingly out of the rest of the World Cup as he prepares for months of rehabilitation, and he will pass the torch over to brother Theo Hernandez, who put in an impressive shift after replacing his stricken relative. Deschamps was also without Kingsley Coman in Friday’s training session due to a hip issue, but Raphael Varane was passed fit for a place on the bench against the Socceroos as Dayot Upamecano and Ibrahima Konate paired up at the back.
While neither Upamecano nor Konate will feel like they deserve to lose their spots, a fully-fit Varane will surely be considered for a place, and the Liverpool man may be the unfortunate one to drop out. A similar story to Hernandez’s has befallen Denmark, as Sevilla midfielder Thomas Delaney came off with a knee injury at half time against Tunisia and has also been forced to withdraw from the tournament as he prepares for a month-long recovery period.
Hjulmand otherwise has no fresh concerns for Saturday’s game and should consider dropping Eriksen into a deeper role alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg following Delaney’s injury, allowing either Mikkel Damsgaard or Jesper Lindstrom to join the attack. Andreas Cornelius produced one of the worst misses in World Cup history after somehow hitting the post from a yard out against Tunisia, and the 29-year-old should only be considered for a substitute role here alongside the injury-plagued Yussuf Poulsen.