Denmark qualified for Euro 2012 as group winners after beating Portugal 2-1 in Copenhagen in the final round of matches.
They face the same opponents in a ‘Group of Death’ which also contains Germany and Holland. To label Morten Olsen’s team as rank outsiders would be a huge understatement.
Olsen, who has been in charge since 2000 and will be the tournament’s longest-serving coach, went back on his decision to step down after Euro 2012. He will now be in charge for the 2014 World Cup.
The shock 1992 winners will be relying on the creativity of Christian Eriksen and the firepower of Nicklas Bendtner who has a good goalscoring record for the national team despite a tendency to miss too many chances.
They conceded just one goal at home in the entire qualifying series and will need the likes of defender Daniel Agger at the top of their game if they are to come away with so much as a point from this group.
- Best World Cup Result: Quarter-Finals (1998)
- Best European Championship Result: Winners (1992)
- Record Scorer: Poul Nielsen & Jon Dahl Tomasson (52 goals)
- Most Capped Player: Peter Schmeichel (129 caps between 1987 and 2001)
- Coach: Morten Olsen
- Captain: Daniel Agger
23-man Denmark Euro 2012 Squad:
Goalkeepers: Stephan Andersen (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City).
Defenders: Lars Jacobsen (FC Kobenhavn), Daniel Wass (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Kjær (AS Roma), Andreas Bjelland (Nordsjælland), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Jores Okore (Nordsjælland).
Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Jakob Poulsen (Midtjylland), William Kvist (FC Nürnberg), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Christian Eriksen (Ajax), Michael Silberbauer (BSC Young Boys), Lasse Schone (NEC Nijmegen).
Forwards: Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby IF), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby IF), Tobias Mikkelsen (FC Nordsjælland), Nicklas Pedersen (FC Groningen).
The Coach: Morten OlsenAfter topping a 2010 World Cup qualifying group that featured Portugal and Sweden, Olsen and his players were up to their tricks again two years later. Olsen inspired his side to a first place finish above Portugal and Norway to qualify automatically for these finals. The 62-year-old has been in his job for nearly 12 years and Denmark’s back-to-back qualification for the last two major tournaments surely demonstrates the virtues of standing by your man.
Player to Watch: Christian EriksenThe Ajax midfielder is one of the most exciting youngsters the country has produced since the Laudrup brothers. Eriksen is a wonderful dribbler with superb technique. Linked with the likes of Manchester United, who he faced in the 2011/12 Europa League, Eriksen will be Denmark’s main creative force in Poland and Ukraine.
Group Matches:Saturday, June 9, 2012 v Holland (18:00 CET in Kharkiv)
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 v Portugal (18:00 CET in Lviv)
Sunday, June 17, 2012 v Germany (20:45 CET in Lviv)