UEFA EURO 2012 Team Preview – Denmark

Population 5.5 million Area 43,094km2 Capital Copenhagen Currency Danish krone Official Language Danish

FOOTBALL FACTFILE

Football Asocciation Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU) Official Site http://www.dbu.dk Year of formation 1889 Euro Ranking 13 World Ranking 10 National Stadium Parken Stadium, Indre Osterbro, Copenhagen Well-known club sides Brondby, IF, OB, FC Kobenhavn Leading goalscorers Poul ‘Tist’ Nielsen and Jon Dahl Tomasson (52), Paul Jorgensen (44) Most capped players Peter Schmeichel (129), Dennis Rommedahl (114), Jom Dahl Tomasson (112) European Championship finals attended 1964, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 Best European Championship performance Winners 1992 Playing Record in European Championship P128 W56 D28 L44 Odds of winning UEFA EURO 2012 80/1

JOURNEY TO POLAND/UKRAINE

Denmark didn’t get the plaudits they deserved in qualification for UEFA EURO 2012. Drawn in a group that included Portugal, who have the world’s second-best-player, Cristiano Ronaldo, few pundits believed the Danes could overcome such opposition.

But thanks to a campaign based on stering home form, where they concded just one goal (to Ronaldo), they marched into Poland/Ukraine as group winners. Here, they will again lock horns with the Portuguese – plus the Dutch and the Germans. Yes, the Group of Death awaits the Danes and they are expected to be the fish food.

They won’t mind that, though. They weren’t given a chance 20 years ago, under the stewardship of a manager who had planned on renovating his kitchen over the summer, yet they beat France, Holland and Germany to lift the trophy.

Except for Liverpool’s Daniel Agger and the exciting Ajax midfielder Christian Eriksen, this side are as unremarkable as John Jensen and co were in 1992. Agger aside, Denmark’s back line appears shaky and with the inconsistent Nicklas Bendtner leading the line, goals may be hard to come by. Considering the pedigree of function Danish teams, though, it would be foolish to write them off.

But it seems unlikely the inventors of Lego will be able to build on their qualifying success.

HOW THEY GOT THERE

07/09/2010 – Group H – Denmark 1-0 Iceland
08/10/2010 – Group H – Portugal 3-1 Denmark
12/10/2010 – Group H – Denmark 2-0 Cyprus
26/03/2011 – Group H – Norway 1-1 Denmark
04/09/2011 – Group H – Iceland 0-2 Denmark
06/09/2011 – Group H – Denmark 2-0 Norway
07/10/2011 – Group H – Cyprus 1-4 Denmark
11/10/2011 – Group H – Denmark 2-1 Portugal

HOME AND AWAY KITS

 

GROUP FIXTURES – GROUP B

Saturday, 09/06 – Netherlands v Denmark (Kharkiv, 17:00)
Wednesday, 13/06 – Denmark v Portugal (Lviv, 17:00)
Sunday, 17/06 – Denmark v Germany (Lviv, 19:45)

FINAL SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Stephan Andersen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United FC), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City FC).

Defenders: Lars Jacobsen (FC København), Daniel Wass (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC), Daniel Agger (Liverpool FC), Simon Kjær (AS Roma), Andreas Bjelland (FC Nordsjælland), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Jores Okore (FC Nordsjælland).

Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC), Jakob Poulsen (FC Midtjylland), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge KV), Thomas Kahlenberg (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC), Christian Eriksen (AFC Ajax), Michael Silberbauer (BSC Young Boys), Lasse Schøne (NEC Nijmegen).

Forwards: Dennis Rommedahl (Brøndby IF), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal FC), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brøndby IF), Tobias Mikkelsen (FC Nordsjælland), Nicklas Pedersen (FC Groningen).

THE CAPTAIN – DANIEL AGGER

Has been beset by injury for most his on-off Liverpool career, but when Danuel Agger is in full pomp, he is a rock at the back and a commanding presence bombing forward with an imperious left foot. It will be important in the group stage for his partnership with Simon Kjaer to remain firm under myriad assaults. If he plays well, this Danish side could begin to gain confidence.

THE KEEPER – ANDERS LINDEGAARD

A late fitness test confirmed his inclusion in the squad and with the Stoke City keeper, Thomas Sorensen ruled out with injury, the Manchester United stopper is set to become the Danes new number one for the finals. Anders Lindegaard had a very good first full season with the Red Devils making eleven appearances and keeping seven clean sheets before he was ruled out for the 2nd half of the season with an ankle injury.

STAR MAN – CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Without question Denmark’s most exciting talent since Michael Laudrup, the sublime feet and imaginative mind of Christian Eriksen have been alerting all the major European clubs of late. His stubborn refusal to entertain their advances for fear of missing first-team football speaks volumes for his grounded attitude and determination to grow as a player, as well as a commodity. Very much in the mould of Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder, Eriksen will operate in the hole, exploiting gaps in the midfield and defence with cunning efficiency. A star in the making.

THE MANAGER – MORTEN PER OLSEN

Captain of the legendary ‘Dynamite’ team of the mid-1980s and the first Dane to reach 100 caps, Morten Per Olsen is one of the most respected managers at UEFA EURO 2012, and also the longest-serving. Given the current crop of Denmark players, you can understand his pragmatic approach. It will be his use of Christian Eriksen at UEFA EURO 2012 that turns this side from businesslike to cut-throat. If anyone can do it, though, Danish supporters will be the first to admit their faith is in Morten Per Olsen.

TOURNAMENT PREDICTION

Group Stages – Denmark had a great qualification campaign but unfortunately they find themselves in the wrong group. They topped their qualifying group and finished above Portugal and are a tough side to break down, but they lack the quality of Germany and Holland. Denmark will need outstanding performances from the likes of Daniel Agger, Simon Kjaer and Christian Eriksen if they are to get any points from the three games. Olsen’s side will no doubt give their 100% during the finals and won’t go down without a fight, but a group stage exit beckons.

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