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World Cup 2022 Group Stage Preview – Part Two – Groups C & D

We are now into November,  the month when the 2022 World Cup Finals in Qatar will get underway and while players are still busy with their club sides finishing off their games ahead of the break for the tournament, you can be sure that many players will have one eye on what to expect in Qatar in just a few short weeks.

Last week we took a closer look at the first two groups of the group stage, which includes teams such as Qatar and the Netherlands as well as the two British-based teams that have qualified for the tournament, England and Wales (or Cymru as they may well be known from the end of this tournament going forward).

This week we move onto Groups C and D which feature two teams that are amongst the two favourites to win the World Cup in Argentina and France, as well as a smattering of other teams that stand a chance of going deeper into the tournament than many would expect.

As always, you can find plenty of great betting on the World Cup at bet365 Sport starting right now with some intriguing outright markets, as well as plenty of pre-match markets and In Play betting once the tournament is in progress.

Let’s now take a look at how Groups C and D shape up starting with the teams in Group C.

All odds shown in the article were correct with bet365 Sport at the time of writing but may have changed in the meantime.

World Cup Finals 2022 – Group Previews

Group C

  • Argentina
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Mexico
  • Poland

Group C Fixtures

  • 22nd Nov – Argentina v Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium (10am)
  • 22nd Nov – Mexico v Poland – Stadium 974 (4pm)
  • 26th Nov – Poland v Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium (1pm)
  • 26th Nov – Argentina v Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium (7pm)
  • 30th Nov – Poland v Argentina – Stadium 974 (7pm)
  • 30th Nov – Saudi Arabia v Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium (7pm)

Group C Team Previews

Argentina

  • Manager – Leonel Scaloni
  • Captain – Lionel Messi
  • 3 Key Players – Lionel Messi (Att), Lautaro Martinez (Att), Cristian Romero (Def)
  • Best World Cup Performance – 2 x Winners (1978, 1986)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Round of 16
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 3
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – DWWWW (Argentina are unbeaten in 35 matches)

With Lionel Messi returning to his best form, a hugely talented squad, particularly in midfield and attack, this Argentina team may have its best chance of winning the World Cup since they reached the final back in the 2014 tournament. Despite his advancing years, Messi remains key to the team along with Di Maria but some quality youngsters like Martinez, Dybala, Romero, De Paul, Fernandez and Lo Celso can have a big impact too. This is a team that is set to go far in the tournament and they will have their eyes on the top prize.

Saudi Arabia

  • Manager – Herve Renard
  • Captain – Salman Al-Faraj
  • 3 Key Players – Fahad Al-Muwallad (Mid), Saleh Al-Shehri (Att), Yasser Al-Shahrani (Def)
  • Best World Cup Performance – Round of 16 (1994)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Group Stage
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 51st
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – ddWDd

Saudi Arabia’s quality is something of a mystery. The team is 51st in the FIFA World Rankings and from their most recent results, we tell that they are solid defensively, conceding just one goal in that run, but they also don’t score too many, scoring just two goals in that run of five games too. All their players play in their national league which helps the team, but they do look a little out of their depth in this company in Group C.

Mexico

  • Manager – Gerardo Martino
  • Captain – Andres Guardardo
  • 3 Key Players – Hirving Lozano (Att), Hector Moreno (Def), Andres Guardado (Mid)
  • Best World Cup Performance – Quarter Finals (1970, 1986)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Round of 16
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 13th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WDLWL

This is likely to be the majority of this Mexican squad’s last opportunity at the World Cup. A number of their squad are well into their 30s, including goalkeeper Ochoa, midfielder Guardardo and defender Moreno. Unfortunately for Mexico, the young talent coming through just isn’t of the same quality as that older generation hence their presence in the squad and first team. They do tend to qualify from the group phase, but their opening game against Poland will be key.

Poland

  • Manager – Czeslaw Michniewicz
  • Captain – Robert Lewandowski
  • 3 Key Players – Robert Lewandowski (Att), Piotr Zielinksi (Mid), Kamil Glik (Def)
  • Best World Cup Performance – 3rd Place (1974, 1982)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Group Stage
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 26th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – LDLLW

Poland’s recent results have not been great but in general their form has trended upwards since their group stage elimination in the last World Cup Finals. The squad’s better players are now the other side of 30, but still in good form with Lewandowski the main attacking threat. The Poles may struggle against Argentina but if they can get a result in their opening game against Mexico, then they stand a good chance of progressing from this group.

Group C Predicted Results

  • 22nd Nov – Argentina 4-0 Saudi Arabia – Lusail Iconic Stadium
  • 22nd Nov – Mexico 2-1 Poland – Stadium 974
  • 26th Nov – Poland 3-1 Saudi Arabia – Education City Stadium
  • 26th Nov – Argentina 2-0 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium
  • 30th Nov – Poland 1-1 Argentina – Stadium 974
  • 30th Nov – Saudi Arabia 0-2 Mexico – Lusail Iconic Stadium

Group C Predicted Table (Odds to win Group)

  1. Argentina – 7pts (2/5)
  2. Mexico – 6pts (5/1)
  3. Poland – 4pts (9/2)
  4. Saudi Arabia – 0pts (20/1)

Group C Forecast Bet – Argentina 1st, Mexico 2nd – 2/1 with bet365.

Group D

  • France
  • Australia
  • Denmark
  • Tunisia

Group D Fixtures

  • 22nd Nov – Denmark v Tunisia – Education City Stadium (1pm)
  • 22nd Nov – France v Australia – Al Janoub Stadium (7pm)
  • 26th Nov – Tunisia v Australia – Al Janoub Stadium (10am)
  • 26th Nov – France v Denmark – Stadium 974 (4pm)
  • 30th Nov – Australia v Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium (7pm)
  • 30th Nov – Tunisia v France – Education City Stadium (7pm)

Group D Team Previews

France

  • Manager – Didier Deschamps
  • Captain – Hugo Lloris
  • 3 Key Players – Kylian Mbappe (Att), Aurielen Tchouameni (Mid), Karim Benzema (Att)
  • Best World Cup Performance – 2x Winners (1998, 2018)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Winners
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 4th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – DDLWL

The holders of the World Cup trophy are back in Qatar to defend the title and in terms of talent, you won’t find a squad outside of the South American duo of Brazil and Argentina so packed with talent as France. With a whole crop of talented youngsters coming through the ranks, allied to a strong core of fantastically gifted players, this France team has the quality to go all the way to the final. Injuries to Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante are a concern but if they get it right, the French should be in the thick of things at the sharp end of the tournament.

Australia

  • Manager – Graham Arnold
  • Captain – Mathew Ryan
  • 3 Key Players – Trent Salisbury (Def), Aaron Mooy (Mid), Tom Rogic (Mid)
  • Best World Cup Performance – Round of 16 (2006)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Group Stage
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 38th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WWdWW

For me, this is one of the weaker Australia teams I have seen for a number of years with no really stand out players who are playing at the top level in Europe or elsewhere in that world for that matter. As such, I think this could be a very tough haul for this Australian team and if they can finish third in this group, then that would represent a real achievement.

Denmark

  • Manager – Kasper Hjulmand
  • Captain – Simon Kjaer
  • 3 Key Players – Joakim Maehle (Def), Christian Eriksen (Mid), Andreas Christensen (Def)
  • Best World Cup Performance – Quarter Finals (1998)
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Round of 16
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 10th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – WLWLW

A few months ago, Denmark looked like one of the dark horses to win the World Cup. Their form was excellent and they had beaten some top teams in recent times, but their recent form has tailed off a bit and with a number of their star men either out of form, or injured and trying to recover to make it in time to the finals. They are good enough to match their best performance at a World Cup, but that depends on them finding some form in Qatar.

Tunisia

  • Manager – Jalel Kadri
  • Captain – Youssef Msakni
  • 3 Key Players – Wahbi Khazri (Att), Ferjani Sassi (Mid), Dylan Bronn (Def)
  • Best World Cup Performance – Group Stage
  • World Cup 2018 Performance – Group Stage
  • Current FIFA Ranking – 30th
  • Current Form (Last 5 games) – dWWWL

An experienced side who have reached six World Cup Finals but who have never got out of the group stage of any despite some solid performances. Always tough to beat and one of the more consistent African teams, goalscoring has been a problem for them at times at the highest level and until they can improve on that, I always feel that they are going to struggle in such elite company as in this group. Their game with Australia though will be close.

Group D Predicted Results

  • 22nd Nov – Denmark 2-0 Tunisia – Education City Stadium
  • 22nd Nov – France 3-1 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium
  • 26th Nov – Tunisia 2-2 Australia – Al Janoub Stadium
  • 26th Nov – France 1-1 Denmark – Stadium 974
  • 30th Nov – Australia 1-3 Denmark – Al Janoub Stadium
  • 30th Nov – Tunisia 1-2 France – Education City Stadium

Group D Predicted Table (Odds to win Group)

  1. France – 7pts (2/5)
  2. Denmark – 5pts (3/1)
  3. Tunisia – 1pt (14/1)
  4. Australia – 1pt (10/1)

Group D Forecast Bet – France 1st, Denmark 2nd – Evens with bet365.

Remember to check back next week when we take a closer look at the teams competing in Groups E and F of the tournament as our countdown to Qatar continues.

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