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World Cup 2018 team previews: Denmark

World Cup 2018 team previews: Denmark
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Led by Tottenham star Christian Eriksen, Denmark will be hoping to take advantage of a relatively simple Group C and repeat what it has done in three previous World Cups, which is reach the Round of 16.

FIFA Ranking: 12

World Cup history
– Denmark has had a few talented generations over the years, but for one reason or another, it hasn’t been able to qualify for the World Cup with any regularity. The Danes have qualified for a World Cup a total of four times. Three of those four times, they’ve managed to progress to the next stage of the competition. In 1986, Denmark won all its group matches, including a 6-1 thrashing of Uruguay and a 2-0 win over Germany, but was then beaten heavily by Spain in the Round of 16 (5-1). In 1998, Denmark got all the way to the quarter-finals, where it lost 3-2 to finalist Brazil. Then, in 2002, Denmark topped the group with France, Senegal and Uruguay, only to be convincingly knocked out by England in the Round of 16 (3-0). Its last World Cup appearance was in 2010.

How they qualified?
– Denmark finished second in Group E behind Poland. It was ranked third among second placed teams and was drawn against Ireland in the playoff matchup for World Cup promotion. After a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen, led by Christian Eriksen’s fantastic hat-trick display, the Danes put five past Ireland in order to qualify for Russia 2018.

Full 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers:
Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester)
Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield)
Frederik Ronnow (Brondby)

Defenders:
Andreas Christensen (Chelsea)
Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford)
Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese)
Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich)
Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield)
Simon Kjaer (Sevilla)

Midfielders:
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Lasse Schone (Ajax)
Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux)
Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna)
Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen)
Willian Kvist (FC Copenhagen)

Forwards:
Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta)
Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux)
Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord)
Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo)
Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen)
Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)

Coach: Åge Hareide

Denmark’s Group C fixtures:
Denmark – Peru (16 June), Mordovia Arena
Denmark – Australia (21 June), Cosmos Arena
Denmark – France (26 June), Luzhniki Stadium

Age Hareide’s squad is all about Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen. There are other quality players as well, of course, but Eriksen is the star. He’s the engine that makes this machine work. The 26-year-old became a father a few days ago, so he’ll definitely be in a good mood heading into Russia.

Denmark and France have been meeting quite often in international competions, so Les Bleus aren’t a team Denmark will be scared off. Judging by their past WC experience, The Danish Dynamite has a good chance at reaching the Round of 16. With a blend of youth (Christensen, Dolberg, Sisto and Poulsen) and experience (Schmeichel, Zanka, Kjaer, Krohn-Dehli and Delaney), that’s exactly what Danish fans will be hoping for.

Star player:
Christian Eriksen

Player to watch:
Pione Sisto

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