France vs Denmark
There were question marks hanging over the heads of the 2018 World Cup champions coming into this edition of FIFA’s flagship event. But, in their 4-1 victory over Australia, France displayed the characteristics of a side that are more than capable of making a deep run in the competition.
Deschamps’ men notched 4, with 3 different goalscorers, and star man Kylian Mbappe managed both a goal and an assist.
An xG of 4.21 is quite frankly ridiculous. 23 shots, 7 on target, and a further 6 blocked emphasises the attacking capabilities of the France frontline.
The stats from France’s Nations League campaign earlier this year largely align with this. Despite a relegation scare, an xG of 1.88 P/90 and an xGA of 0.94 P/90 suggests that France were largely dominant against top quality opposition.
Les Bleus also managed 8 corners throughout 90 minutes, testament to the ability and the pace of wide men Mbappe and Dembele. With Denmark playing a 3 at the back formation, space could be afforded to the French down the flanks, and there’s every chance that they utilise this and earn some corners.
Denmark, afforded 9 corners to a Tunisia side that don’t possess the same quality as France. 3 of the 4 France goals scored against Australia came from crosses from wide areas, and if Denmark are to give away as many corners as they did last time out, then the aerial threats present in Deschamps’ team could well make that count.
As for opponents Denmark, their lacklustre 0-0 draw with Tunisia left little to be impressed with.
Despite just the 1 effort on target, Tunisia actually beat Denmark in the shot count 13 to 11. The Danes cannot afford to give France the same number of opportunities.
Expect Tunisia’s xG of 0.92 to be comfortably eclipsed by the French, whilst Denmark’s xG of 1.60 is unlikely to be replicated given France’s xGA of 0.52 against Australia.
It’s also worth noting that despite some impressive Nations League results earlier this year, an average xGA of 1.47 P/90 in the competition highlights that this Denmark side will concede chances.
France had a combined xG of 3.01 in their 2 games against Denmark, and with forwards such as Giroud and Mbappe finally rounding into form, such levels of chance creation should result in goals this time around.
France have turned up for this tournament, and I expect them to get the job done against the Danes.