Denmark v Tunisia
Euro 2020’s surprise package Denmark kick-off their World Cup 2022 campaign against a Tunisian side who are looking to go one step further than they did in 2018 and claw themselves out of the group.
Denmark enter the tournament as one of the outsiders and are expected to advance from the group. The Danish team are coming off a great Nations League campaign where they managed to defeat France, the group favorites, twice, including a 2-0 victory back at the end of September. To make things even more impressive, Denmark had an impressive qualification where they started off with eight clean sheet victories in a row and qualified as one of the first European nations.
Going into this game though, there are some question marks about the Danish team. Kasper Hjulmand is most likely without Wolfsburg striker Jonas Wind who is still struggling with an injury. Furthermore, multiple key players are out of match shape. Kasper Dolberg. Thomas Delaney, Mikkel Damsgaard, Christian Nørgaard, Andreas Cornelius and Yussuf Poulsen have all played less than 900 minutes in their domestic leagues this year, and the team is thus far from the form they entered the European championship in last year.
Tunisia are very cautious about the Danish. They have made costly mistakes before and it didn’t end well for them (against England and Belgium 2018). Tunisia is most likely to try and maintain possession of the ball and slowly find its way into Denmark’s defenses. Kadri will be relying on Aymen Dahmen to man the gates. The second choice, Bechir Ben Said, sustained an injury and won’t be ready for the game.
Elyes Skhiri, Issa Laidouni, and Ghaylen Chaalali will be in the midfield. These three players will bear most of the load. The midfield is Tunisia’s turf, they feel very confident there and this trio are very fierce.
It’s possible that Kadri diverts from the 4-3-3 to the 3-5-2. The latter is more offensively oriented and has proven very efficient for Tunisia in creating pressure on the opponent’s half.
Tunisia’s group may be slightly easier than in 2018, but the North Africans really are up against it with the Danes, and mentally may just be happy to be participating. The Danish team should have a significantly higher level than their Tunisian counterpart, and with a match against the reigning world champions waiting in the second round, Denmark need three points here. The Danish team has a great level of unity, and I expect them to pull away with three points here.
Youssef Msakni may be the main attacking outlet for Tunisia, but Elyes Skhiri’s attacking positioning makes him an attractive prospect for just a shot at 1.62 . He’s leading Tunisia’s midfield. During Tunisia’s offensive phase, he will be hovering just outside the box so he’s in a perfect spot to catch those cross passes or deflected/intercepted shots. He won’t shy away from taking those shots that come his way. He will want to score, that will be difficult, but he’s going to get some shots. For those feeling extra confident, you can opt for the 1 or more shots on target for him.
Hardly anything happens offensively on the Danish team without it, including Christian Eriksen. Everything goes through the creative Manchester United midfielder, and he is the absolute key player on the team.
Eriksen has been in great form since returning from his injury last season, and he has been fantastic for the national team. He had one goal and one assist in the Nations League, but should be even more involved now when he’s back in top shape.
He plays as the playmaker of the team, and he is furthermore the man behind all of Denmark’s set pieces, including penalties. This gives him an increased chance of both scoring himself but also assisting his teammates. Odds 2.1 shows the bookmakers underestimates Eriksen’s importance and heavy involvement on the team, and it is great value.
Joakim Mæhle has been one of the best Danish players in Hjulmand’s reign. The Atalanta defender is a completely different player when playing on the national team, and he finished as Denmark’s top scorer in the qualification with five goals.
The 25-year-old left back is a menace when roaring forward with the ability to cut inside and shoot from the distance. In the European Championship he averaged 1.7 shots per game, and in the Nations League he averaged 1.3.
Mæhle has a great amount of confidence, and his finishing is surprisingly good for a defender. Him getting in dangerous positions is an important part of Denmark’s attacking plan, and his teammates know how to get him free on goal. Odds 2.0 on him to have at least one shot on target is definitely good value.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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