Denmark World Cup squad guide: Full fixtures, group, ones to watch, odds and more

PROFILE: With the tournament only days away we take an in-depth look at all 32 teams in Russia

Jack Watson
Wednesday 06 June 2018 11:29 BST
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Russia 2018: Which teams have qualified for the World Cup?

Rarely has one nation’s chances of a successful tournament rested on one player quite like Denmark’s do on Christian Eriksen. Without him they could only muster an uninspiring performance in a 0-0 draw with Sweden on 2 June. They have his heroic hat-trick against Ireland in the second leg of their play-off match to thank for their place in the World Cup, and Age Hareide, Denmark’s manager, believes Eriksen is one of the top ten players in the world. “He has this capability of scoring goals, making assists, finding space, so, definitely top 10.”

Another goal scorer from that 5-1 victory over Ireland in Dublin - Nicklas Bendtner - has been left out of the 23-man squad with a groin strain.

Denmark’s last World Cup was South Africa 2010 where they won just the one group game and lost the other two, finishing third in their group. They did not qualify for the 2016 Euros, but have regrouped and utilised emerging talent, including Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen, and put together a quietly impressive squad.

Fixtures

Peru vs Denmark – 17:00, Saturday 16 June.
Denmark vs Australia – 13:00, Thursday 21 June.
Denmark vs France – 15:00, Tuesday 26 June.

Key players

Christian Eriksen: Christian Eriksen missed the 0-0 friendly against Sweden as he and his partner waited for the birth of their child; without him, Denmark looked very blunt. At Tottenham he has become irreplaceable and that is the case with his country too. From the number 10 role, he is a vital part of the attack, scoring 11 goals in his last 14 appearances for Denmark.

Eriksen is Denmark’s key man (AFP/Getty Images)

Andreas Christensen: Chelsea’s league season was fairly glum, however one player managed to stand out for the right reasons and the Blues may finally have a player from their academy who can step up to the first team in the long term. Antonio Conte said he can place “a lot of trust in Christensen” and says the 22-year-old shows “great maturity.”

Simon Kjaer: Denmark’s captain plays centre back for Sevilla and was part of the side which knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League, winning 2-1 at Old Trafford in the last 16. Kjaer took a while to settle into the Denmark squad after making his debut in 2009, but with time his performances have improved and his accurate long range passing has been used as a tactic to find forwards from deep.

Ones to watch

Yussuf Poulsen: A long term part the Red Bull Leipzig project in Germany, Yussuf Poulsen, 23, will have to step up his goals return following Bendtner’s injury. The tall and speedy forward is often used out wide by Denmark and Leipzig but can line up through the middle.

How did they get here?

After finishing five points behind Poland in their qualifying group a two-legged play off against Republic of Ireland stood in the way of Denmark going to Russia. A tense first leg in Copenhagen finished 0-0 meaning the Danes had it all to do in Dublin. Step forward Christian Eriksen. Andreas Christensen levelled the score after Shane Duffy gave Ireland an early lead, then the Eriksen show started. His 41 minute hat-trick and Bendtner’s late penalty saw Denmark emphatically qualify.

How will they do?

Ranked 12 in the World Rankings, Denmark will fancy themselves against Peru and Australia, and could even surprise France. Denmark’s best performance in the World Cup was reaching the quarter-finals in 1998, matching that would represent some achievement but it will be a stretch with Argentina, Iceland or Croatia their likely opponents in the last 16.

Odds of winning the World Cup: 100/1

Squad

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Frederik Ronow

Defenders: Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Mathias Jorgensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger, Jonas Knudsen

Midfielders: William Kvist, Thomas Delaney, Lukas Lerager, Lasse Schone, Christian Eriksen, Michael Krohn-Dehli

Forwards: Pione Sisto, Martin Braithwaite, Andreas Cornelius, Viktor Fischer, Yussuf Poulsen, Nicolai Jorgensen, Kasper Dolberg

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