At the Euro 2020 tournament, Denmark was everyone’s second team by the time the group stage was through, and they were also the tournament’s biggest surprise.
This was in part owing to their excellent achievements, as they bounced back after losing their first two group matches to demolish both Russia and Wales, before overcoming the Czech Republic to go to the semi-finals.
In the end, Denmark was eliminated from the competition by England in the semifinals; nevertheless, there was another reason why non-Danes had acquired a fondness for the squad.
Those who watched the terrifying scenes during Denmark’s opening loss to Finland in Copenhagen, in which medical personnel attempted to revive Christian Eriksen on the field after he had passed out, left those spectators hoping for the best possible outcome for the player and his teammates, who formed a barrier around him.
Thankfully, not only did Eriksen survive, but he has now returned to the highest level of the game. When he came off the bench against the Netherlands in March, he was greeted with a standing ovation, and just two minutes later, he scored a goal.
The presence of the Manchester United midfielder in Qatar will be symbolic and inspirational, but head coach Kasper Hjulmand is under no illusions that his team will need to rely on more than just positivity. He stated that: “I think we’re in a good position, but you cannot just go on emotions and play.” On the field, we will need players of high caliber.
“I believe that the level of football that we play is up to par, and we are prepared.”
Denmark were not a one-tournament wonder though, as they cruised through their World Cup qualifying group, winning their first nine games and maintaining clean sheets in their first eight, which was more than any other side in the competition.
One player that Tunisia will need to keep a watch on is Joakim Maehle, who plays fullback for South Africa. The Atalanta man was directly involved in more goals for Denmark during Euro 2020 than any other player, and he tied Andreas Skov Olsen for the most goals scored for Denmark in qualification with five of his own. No other player scored more goals for Denmark in qualifying than he did (three – two goals and one assist).
However, they will have a difficult time beating Tunisia since the Eagles of Carthage are excellent at keeping games close and preventing the other team from playing.
After a disappointing exit in the quarterfinals to Burkina Faso at the Africa Cup of Nations, Jalel Kadri was appointed as the head coach. He began his tenure by beating Mali over two legs to qualify for Qatar 2022 and winning four of their next five games before suffering a 5-1 friendly humiliation at the hands of Brazil in September.
He has very high expectations for himself, and he has said that he would quit the team if they do not advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 World Cup. Because my compensation is tied to my performance, if I don’t make it out of the group stage, it will be considered a failure on my part.”
Even though Tunisia will not be an easy team to defeat, they will need to better their performance in previous World Cups if they want to establish a name for themselves in this competition.
This is the third-highest percentage by a team that has played at least 15 games in the competition, behind only Saudi Arabia (69% – 11 of 16) and Australia (63% – 10 of 16). Tunisia has lost 60% of their World Cup games, which is nine out of their total of 15. This is the third-highest percentage by a team that has played at least 15 games in the competition.
Their record versus teams from Europe has a lot to be desired as well; they have played the more matches against European teams at a World Cup than any other team, yet have not been victorious in any of those matches (D3 L7). In point of fact, each and every one of their most recent four losses in the tournament came at the hands of European clubs (Spain and Ukraine in 2006, England and Belgium in 2018).
Watch Out For These Players
Denmark: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
The Tottenham player has established himself as one of the best deep-lying midfielders in Europe, and he will be the one to offer the drive in the center of the field, complementing Eriksen’s more polished technique.
Only Rodri of Manchester City has attempted more passes than Hojbjerg has this season in the Premier League. In Europe’s top five leagues, only Pedri (seven), Lionel Messi, Mario Gotze, and Joshua Kimmich (both six), and Harvey Barnes and Hojbjerg (both five) have recorded more secondary assists than Hojbjerg’s four. In the Premier League, only Rodri of Manchester City has attempted more passes than Hojbjerg has (the pass before the assist).
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg Denmark against Tunisia Prediction
Tunisia: Wahbi Khazri
The striker who once played for Sunderland and Saint-Etienne has been the key man for his country on the international scene, and he will be called upon to demonstrate his abilities once again in Qatar.
Khazri has had a direct hand in each of Tunisia’s previous four goals in the World Cup (two goals, two assists). Earlier this year, Khazri also had three goal involvements for Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations (two goals, one assist).
Forecast by Wahbi Khazri for the Match Between Tunisia and Denmark
At Education City Stadium, Hjulmand’s squad will be the obvious favorites to win the match, maybe due to the strong play of the Danish national team and Tunisia’s historically dismal performance at World Cup tournaments.
The artificial intelligence model developed by Stats Perform indicates that Denmark has a 65.0% likelihood of winning, whereas Tunisia only has a 13.9% chance of success.
Given Denmark’s lack of a proven striker and their opponents’ propensity to close off games, the draw, which has a probability of 21.1%, seems to be a reasonable possibility.