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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group E - Denmark

Nickname – Danish Dynamite, Olsen-Banden (The Olsen Gang); Olsens Elleve

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

In a truly competitive group with Portugal, Sweden and Hungary, Denmark managed to finish top with 21 points losing only once in the final match when they attained the ticket for South Africa. Was the best part not losing to Portugal or beating twice rivals Sweden? It doesn’t really matter, because in the end when a team wins 6 times, draws 3 times in 10 possible matches gives you enough room to rest and wait for the next chapter. What will it be for Denmark this time?

H2H

Jun 14 Johannesburg Netherlands v Denmark - Here’s one of the big clashes of the first round. Netherlands won 11 times and lost 7 times and in between they have got 10 draws between them. In top competitions they have won twice against each other. In the last six matches – 4 draws and 1 win to each nation. Who will be the side that will reign this time?

Jun 19 Pretoria Cameroon v Denmark - Both nations are leveled in terms of results in the h-2-h. They have won 1 time each by the same result, 2-1. In spite of this, Cameroon has not lost the last 3 matches against European competitors (Italy & Austria/Georgia). The last time Denmark played against African opposition was back in 2003 when they won by a comfortable margin, 1-4 against Egypt.

Jun 24 Rustenburg Denmark v Japan - 3-2 and 1-6 defines the victories from Denmark in the only two matches played against Japan. Those were about friendly games and I think Japan has something to say in this Group E.

Goalkeepers: Thomas Sorensen (Stoke), Stefan Andersen (Brondby), Jesper Christiansen (FC Copenhagen)

Defenders: Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Kjaer (Palermo), Per Kroldrup (Fiorentina), Lars Jacobsen (Blackburn), Simon Busk Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), William Kvist Jorgensen (FC Copenhagen), Patrick Mtiliga (Malaga)

Midfielders: Daniel Jensen (Werder Bremen), Christian Poulsen (Juventus), Christian Eriksen (Ajax), Jakob Poulsen (AGF), Martin Jorgensen (AGF), Mikkel Beckmann (Randers), Thomas Enevoldsen (FC Groningen), Thomas Kahlenberg (Wolfsburg), Dennis Rommedahl (Ajax), Jesper Gronkjaer (FC Copenhagen)

Strikers: Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), Soeren Larsen (Duisburg).

FORMATION

Morten Olsen stratifies is formation in a double perception. Denmark will be using a defensive 4-3-3 and attacking 4-2-3-1 that emphasizes the needs of the squad throughout the match. Sorensen; Agger, Jacobsen, Kroldrup, Kjaer; C. Poulsen, Jakob Poulsen, Rommedahl, Gronkjaer; Tomasson, Bendtner.

BEST PLAYERS

Daniel Agger is an undisputed regular starter for both Liverpool and Denmark having made a total of 34 appearances. His defensive excellence has made him acknowledge already honors in individual terms such as Denmark’s Player of the Year. By the time he was excelling in Denmark, Liverpool imported him for a Danish record of €7M. His 6’2” strong presence in conjunction with his knowledgeable vision can provide Denmark’s safety at the back and he will help as well in transitions due to mastery of positioning and his potent left footed shot.

22 years old Nicklas Bendtner plays for Arsenal and even though he as a very good ratio of goals scored he is not often first choice at his club. Still when he has the chance he proves wrong Arsene Wenger by scoring more and more goals. Latest seasons have seen him scoring 14 matches, 9 goals, 4 assists. After in a more prolific season 38 matches with 18 goals and most recently 24 matches, 14 goals and 6 assists. He is a 6’3” striker still quick and that has a clinical finish as well as a stunning aerial ability. He will be the player that hopes to stall Netherlands from winning against Denmark and deliver some goals against Japan and/or Cameroon. If his defiant traits don’t overtake his playing ability he will be an interesting player to individually follow.

SURPRISE

The surprise omissions are Lumb from Zenit, Junker from Roda and Lovendkrands from newly promoted to the Premier League Newcastle United.

STATEMENTS

"World Cups are always special. The fact it's the first time in Africa is fantastic because it's bringing it closer to the people there, but every World Cup has its own unique flavour and appeal. I remember seeing how excited Asia was in 2002 to have it and what a fantastic experience that was for everyone. For me and for all the players, competing at the World Cup is the ultimate; it's the biggest honour for any player." Morten Olsen, Denmark coach

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- Morten Olsen –

1 Eredivisie – Ajax Amsterdam - 1998;

Career made of 295 matches with 46% Win, 23% Draw, 30% Loss, GS 1,69 GA 1,16

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – One of the strongest teams in terms of body build as well as aerial ability meaning that from set pieces they could be a stunning threat. Their conservative approach of football might bring dividends for the Scandinavian side against more effusive sides such as Cameroon or Netherlands.

Weaknesses – Fewer or almost inexistent options regarding the offensive line beyond Bendtner. Not being able to cope with the pace of Netherlands and stamina/will of Cameroon.

Opportunities – Taking a positive result from the first match will potentiate the access to the second round of the World Cup. On the paper they have 3 points in advance against Japan, but the second match will be decisive to sort the final table of this group as often It is played under a B team once everything is decided to rest players.

Threats – Second match is decisive. Having Cameroon winning against Japan in the first day will put Denmark under pressure. Need to improve from last matches – 4W, 3D, 3L;

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Denmark is in the slot number 35 ahead of Slovakia, Honduras and behind of Ghana, Algeria and Paraguay.

ACHIEVEMENTS

1 UEFA European championship – 1992;

1 Confederations Cup – 1995.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Denmark 1 2 Chile

Denmark 1 1 Portugal

Albania 1 1 Denmark

Denmark 1 0 Sweden

Denmark 0 1 Hungary

Denmark 0 0 South Korea

Denmark 3 1 United States

Austria 2 1 Denmark

Australia 1 0 Denmark

South Africa 1 0 Denmark


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