France qualified for the 2022 World Cup. in Qatar after winning their group in the UEFA World Cup Qualification Tournament. Facing Tunisia, Denmark and Australia, the defending champions have a good chance of making it out of the group stage, and here are five reasons why.
Won the 2018 World Cup
The returning World Cup champions will look to repeat their successful 2018 World Cup campaign through a talented and experienced roster. Among the expected returners from the 2018 roster are goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris, who has played in three World Cups. Forwards Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann are also both likely to return after playing a pivotal role in the 2018 win. Mbappe earned the Best Young Player award at the last World Cup while Griezmann won the Bronze Ball and Silver Shoe awards, with each scoring four goals. Midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante and defender Raphael Varane should also be back, too. With these players, along with others, bringing a wealth of experience and a championship formula, France should have no problem making it out of the group stage.
Strong Qualifying Tournament
France qualified for the 2022 World Cup through a strong qualification tournament, capped by a win in Group D. With a record of 5-0-3, France didn’t lose any matches, competing against other teams such as Ukraine and Finland. The French National Team finished with 18 points and led the group in goals scored as well as goal differential. Scoring 18 goals and giving up three, the team finished with a goal differential of 15. With a first-place finish in its group in the qualifying tournament, France had a strong run, which should propel the team to a strong group stage appearance as well.
Landing in a group with one other team ranked inside the top 20, France gets a favorable draw. While France is ranked No. 4 in FIFA’s latest world rankings, Denmark will provide the toughest test for the team with a FIFA ranking of 10. Group D will also feature some rematches from the 2018 World Cup, as France faced Denmark and Australia in Group C in 2018 before moving on. France defeated Australia 2-1 before coming to a 0-0 draw against Denmark in 2018. France and Denmark most recently dueled in the Nations League Tournament, with Denmark winning 2-1. With prior experience against some of the teams and France the top-ranked team, the French National Team is given -250 odds to win their group.
Mbappe is one of the many reasons France has a solid shot at making it past the group round. At 23, Mbappe will headline France’s roster for the second time. Mbappe also played a part in securing a qualification for the 2022 World Cup, as he scored four of France’s eight goals in its defeat of Kazakhstan to win the group. In 57 appearances for the French National Team, Mbappe has scored 27 goals. Leading a strong attacking line, Mbappe will look to help France past the group stage by continuing his strong scoring.
Bad Euro 2020
Although France has tons of veteran experience and are coming off a 2018 World Cup win, the national team had a less-than-stellar Euro 2020 Tournament. After making it past the group stage by scoring five points in a 1-0-2 record, France got bumped in the Round of 16. In the group stage, France finished with a goal differential of one by allowing three goals and scoring four. France’s UEFA 2020 campaign ended against Switzerland, when the Swiss defeated France in a penalty shootout. France will be looking to bounce back from an early exit in the Euro Tournament with a strong showing in the World Cup group stage.