Perennial World Cup dark horses Denmark face a far less fancied Tunisia in their opening group game on Tuesday lunchtime.
Denmark were imperious during World Cup qualification, securing their place in Qatar after eight games, eight wins and zero goals conceded. Tunisia defeated Mali by a narrow 1-0 aggregate scoreline in their two-legged play-off. “The match itself wasn’t fun,” Tunisia’s Mohamed Drager admitted, “it was a violent affair, but that’s football.”
Here's everything you need to know about a contest with hopefully less violence but one which may not be much more fun for Tunisia.
Where are Denmark vs Tunisia playing?
- Location: Doha, Qatar
- Stadium: Education City Stadium
- Date: Tuesday 22 November
- Kick-off Time: 13:00 GMT / 08:00 ET / 05:00 PT
Denmark vs Tunisia H2H Results (Last Five Games)
- Denmark: 3 Wins
- Tunisia: 2 Wins
- Draws: 0
Current Form (Last Five Games)
- Denmark: WLWLW
- Tunisia: DWWLW
Denmark team news
Kasper Hjulmand left the door ajar for any players on the cusp of an injury recovery by leaving five additional spaces open after confirming the first 21 members of the squad. Frederik Ronnow was part of the lagging quintet after missing Union Berlin's final three Bundesliga matches with a hamstring injury.
Jonas Wind is also dealing with muscular problems. The Wolfsburg forward has been blighted by fitness concerns throughout the current campaign and is a doubt going into his nation's opening match.
Denmark predicted lineup vs Tunisia
Denmark Starting 11 (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, A Christensen, Maehle; Hojbjerg, Delaney; Skov Olsen, Eriksen, Lindstrom; Dolberg.
Bench: O Christensen, Ronnow, Andersen, Nelsson, Kristensen, Larsen, Bah, Jensen, Norgaard, Skov, Damsgaard, Braithwaite, Wind, Poulsen, Cornelius.
Tunisia team news
Tunisia captain Youssef Msakni was robbed of a place at the 2018 World Cup by a ruptured cruciate ligament. A matter of weeks ahead of this year's tournament he suffered another injury but is expected to have recovered by the time the Carthage Eagles line up against Denmark.
Tunisia predicted lineup vs Denmark
Tunisia Starting 11 (4-3-3): Dahmen; Drager, Talbi, Bronn, Abdi; Laidouni, Skhiri, Chaalali; Ben Slimane, Msakni, Khazri.
Bench: Mathlouthi, Ben Said, Hassen, Ifa, Meriah, Maaloul, Kechrida, Ghandri, Mejbri, Sassi, Romdhane, Jebali, Khenissi, Jaziri, Sliti.
Denmark vs Tunisia score prediction
Both managers have set lofty goals for their nations this winter. Hjulmand wants Denmark to "inspire and unite our country". Jalel Kadri's aim of getting out of the group for the first time in the nation's history is less idealistic, but he did promise to quit if that ambition isn't realised.
Tunisia have kept eight clean sheets in their last nine internationals and will be obdurate foes with a defence-first (and second, and third) approach. However, Kadri's side lacks punch going forward.
Conversely, his devilishly well-balanced Danish team may begin Hjulmand's quest for national unity with a win.
Prediction: Denmark 2-0 Tunisia