World Cup 2018: Denmark Squad Preview, Fixtures, Where to Watch, Best Starting XI & Predictions
After a pretty rocky qualification stage, Denmark will hope they can make it a World Cup to remember. Considering the players they have, they could surprise a few fans and pundits if they perform well as a unit.
Boasting a pretty strong lineup, the Danes eased past the Republic of Ireland in the second round of the qualifiers after finishing second to Poland in group E. Åge Hareide’s side have been grouped with France, Australia and Peru.
Denmark’s Group Fixtures and Venues
Match 1: Peru vs Denmark on 16th June, 19:00 Local time (21:30 IST) at Mordovia Arena
Match 2: Denmark vs Australia on 21st June, 16:00 local time (17:30 IST) at Samara Arena
Match 3: Denmark vs France on 21st June, 17:00 local time (19:30 IST) at Luzhniki Stadium
TV and Live Stream
TV: Sony Ten 2, Sony Ten 2 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Live Stream: Sony LIV
Denmark Squad for the World Cup
Goalkeepers: Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town), Frederik Ronnow (Brondby), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich Town), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Midfielders: Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), William Kvist (Copenhagen), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo)
Forwards: Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Viktor Fischer (Copenhagen), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)
Key players to watch: Simon Kjaer, Christian Eriksen, Thomas Delaney, Nicolai Jorgensen
Denmark Coach: Åge Hareide
Let’s put it this way, Åge Hareide is an extremely successful coach if you consider his record in the Scandinavian countries. He is also pretty experience considering he has managed seven sides, including Norway with who he had his longest stint.
It’s safe to say that the Norwegian is more of a pragmatist than a manager who advocates the gung-ho approach. We can’t really blame him, cause with the team they have, they can get results against the likes of Armenia, Ireland or Romania.
When it comes to the more expansive sides though, Denmark have often flattered to deceive. You can’t help but think the things this squad of talented players can achieve if they play a bit more bravely.
Denmark’s Preferred Formation
The 4-2-3-1 seems like the tried and tested formation these days and the Danes have used it more often than not. Playing Christian Eriksen as the attacking midfielder seems like the sensible choice while the likes of Thomas Delaney and Lasse Schone and William Kvist have often been rotated in the double pivot.
Of course, Eriksen will be the player to watch out for after helping Tottenham finish third in the Premier League, but keep a close eye on new Borussia Dortmund signing Thomas Delaney who mixes caution with aggression.
A key player for Werder Bremen last season, Delaney excelled with his defensive contribution but was never shy of getting forward and testing the opposition ‘keeper with a shot or two.
Yussuf Poulsen had a subpar season with Leipzig, mainly because of the presence of Timo Werner, but on his day, he is a tricky forward to deal with. He has a god burst of pace and can play off the shoulders of defenders.
At the back, Denmark have the likes of Andreas Christensen, Yannick Vestergaard and Simon Kjaer, players who have been consistently good for their clubs. And mind you, they play in some of the best leagues in the world, so they are no slouches.
Denmark’s Best Starting XI
Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel will guard the goal. Simon Kjaer and Andreas Christensen are likely to be the first choice centre-back pairing for the World Cup.
Hareide has the versatile option of Jens Stryger Larsen who can slot in at left-back and right-back but will be considered primarily for the latter position. Riza Durmisi is an option for the left-back slot but we expect Jonas Knudsen to start.
The duo of Delaney and Kvist are expected to start in the double pivot with Eriksen taking the load of the creative output in front of them. The fleet-footed Pione Sisto is expected to start on the left while Poulsen could be used on the right. Feyenoord forward Nicolai Jorgensen will lead the line in Bendtner’s absence.
Denmark’s History at the World Cup
The 1986 side is still remembered for ‘failing’ despite having a star-studded team. Though Denmark went on to erase the memories of the ’86 World Cup by winning the 1992 Euros, the 5-1 defeat at the hands in the pre-quarters in 1986 did disappoint quite a few fans. That incidentally is the best run they’ve had in a World Cup. They matched that run in the 2002 World Cup as well but were beaten by England.
Prediction: How far can Denmark go?
Given they have been clubbed with France, Australia and Peru, the Danes should be confident of making it to the next round. They have a pretty good team with players playing in the top five European leagues.
The game against France will be a tough one considering the array of talent Les Blues have at their disposal. Like in the ‘80s, Denmark have a good core of players who are at the peak of their careers, so a round of 16 entry is the least they should target.