World Cup 2022 Preview: Denmark vs Tunisia.

A lot of football pundits have tipped the Danes to go all the way in this competition and why not? Their run all the way to the semi-final in the last Euros set the standard that they hope to keep in Qatar, a tall order, and their best performance remains a quarter final exit in 1998 where they lost 2-3 to Brazil after humiliating Nigeria 4-1 in a meat and drink type fixture in the round of 16.

With the return of Manchester United’s midfielder Christian Eriksen and Pierre Hojbjerg have been standout performers in the premier league this season, together with Thomas Delaney, expect Denmark to be strong in the midfield with so much experience, creativity and steel. They’re not lacking in defense either with skipper Simeon Kjaer, Joachim Anderson and Barcelona’s Andreas Christensen, Kasper Schmeichel, the son of veteran goal keeper Peter remains in goal as Kasper Hjulmand’s men look to make a mark on the world stage again haven been eliminated on penalties by runners up Croatia in the last edition. In attack is where they slightly fall short, they don’t really have a poacher and with MikkelDamsgaard out with injury, more burden rests on the shoulders of Kasper Dolberg in that center forward position.

Denmark as a team looks compact, hard to breakdown and it will take some magic for the North Africans to snatch 3 points in this tie. If you saw Tunisia in the last afcon, you’d agree with me that they weren’t outstanding with their biggest game being that 1-0 victory against 10 man Nigeria. Jalel Kadri claims he has surprises to show when his team steps out on that Education City Stadium turf.

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In recent times, Tunisia has been over reliant on the duo of Youssef Msakni and Wahbi Khazri going forward, both players aren’t really firing on all cylinders at this point and creativity isn’t really immense in midfield with hopes lying on Birmingham city’s Mejbri Hannibal on loan from Manchester United. As usual, North Africans are crafty, they always have antics up their sleeves and will play to frustrate their opponents, I really do not think there’s enough quality in there to starve Denmark off the ball with Aissa Laidouni and French Ligue 1 man EllyesSkhiri destined to start in central midfield, the Danes look too strong on paper in the midfield department and I think that’s where the game will be won or lost for either side.

According to Stats Preforms AI model, Denmark has a 65.0% chance of victory, with Tunisia at just 13.9% to win.
The draw, rated at 21.1%, seems possible given Denmark’s lack of a proven goal scorer and their opponents’ ability to close games down.

If you’ve followed African football like I have, you’d agree with me that Tunisia wouldn’t shock the world in this fixture; they’ve never won their opening game at a world cup since losing to England 2-0 in 1998, lost in same fashion to Russia in 2002, played out a disappointing 2-2 draw against Saudi Arabia in 2006 and put up their best show in 2018 when they narrowly lost 1-2 to England. I think the cycle will continue tomorrow, I can’t see them getting more than a point in this one and I do not think the Europeans will take this one for granted.

PREDICTION by Charles.E. Ofili

DENMARK 3-1 TUNISIA

What’s yours? Predict and win

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