Australia, Denmark , France , Tunisia
It’s the group of cool nicknames: Les Bleus, the Danish Dynamite, the Socceroos and the Carthage Eagles. Notably, three of the four teams were also in a group together at the 2018 World Cup. First up is Les Bleus — not the coolest of nicknames, but probably the most talented of the four. France is the defending champion, and retains much of the talent from four years ago. However, there are certainly some questions that remain unanswered: midfielder stalwarts Paul Pogba and N’golo Kante are both out with injury, and the odds are stacked against them: four of the last five World Cup champions have failed to make it out of the group stage. Even so, France’s strong center back core and world-class attack led by Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe should see them finish at the top of the group. Denmark, or the Danish Dynamite, are firing on all cylinders after a deep run to the semifinals of the 2021 European Championships. Their talisman Christian Eriksen is in great form for his club and Denmark’s well-rounded team could make a surprising run in the tournament. The Socceroos of Australia and the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia are not expected to trouble either of the two European teams. Australia qualified through the international playoff on penalties versus Peru, and they will need their goalkeeper Mat Ryan to pull off a miracle or two if they have any chance of qualifying for the next round. Tunisia are a very defensive-minded team, so expect them to try to eke out a draw against the top teams, and maybe they can exit the group with some favorable results.