France became the first reigning champions to progress to the knockout rounds since Brazil in 2006.
So, Les Bleus will be relatively stress-free when they round off their group stage campaign by taking on Tunisia. But the same can’t be said for their African opponents, who need a win to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
But even a surprising win against France might not be enough for the Eagles of Carthage to make it to the next round.
If Australia win their match against Denmark, the Aussies will go through regardless of the result at the Education City Stadium. But if they fail to claim the full three points, there will be a glimmer of hope for the North African nation.
In stark contrast to their impressive defensive display, Tunisia are yet to score their first goal of the tournament this season. But Tunisia boss Jalel Kadri would hope that his team will be able to break the duck against France, who might choose to rest some of their key players ahead of the knockout stages.
With injuries piling up, poor recent form, and the infamous champion’s curse, the build-up to Qatar 2022 has been far from ideal for Didier Deschamps’s men. But they have taken the bull by the horns and confirmed their tickets for the next stage of the competition with a match to spare.
France overcame an early deficit to win 4-1 against Australia before seeing off Denmark 2-1 in the second match.
The Danes had proven themselves to be a tricky opposition for France, having beaten them both home and away in the UEFA Nations League earlier this season.
With a win against Tunisia, France can make it seven wins on the bounce in the World Cup finals. Only Brazil (11) have a longer winning run in the competition.
Tunisia have a clean bill of health ahead of the match.
Second-choice keeper Bechir Ben Said will be back on the bench after returning to full fitness.
Mohamed Drager had to leave the pitch after 45 minutes against Australia, but reports suggest the right-back will be fit to feature against the current World Champions.
Wahbi Khazri might get a start up front after two bench appearances as Jalel Kadri try to find the right attacking combination.
Didier Deschamps might not get to call upon his second-choice keeper Alphonse Areola as he struggles with a back issue.
Deschamps might choose to make wholesale changes to the squad, to give his first-choice players some valuable rest before the knockouts.
Eduardo Camavinga might play at left-back, giving the only specialist left-back in the squad, Theo Hernández a chance to keep his legs fresh before the round-of-16.
France have a wealth of options in their reserve team as well.
So, it would not be an easy task for Tunisia to get anything out of this game.
We believe, France will win this 2-0.
Date: 30 November
Kickoff: 8:30 PM IST
Venue: Education City Stadium