Factfile on Denmark who are in World Cup Group D:
Best World Cup performance: Quarter-finalists in 1998.
Other honours: European champions in 1992.
FIFA ranking: 10th.
Main clubs: FC Copenhagen, Midtjylland, Brondby.
How they qualified: Denmark finished first in European qualifying Group F.
Coach: Kasper Hjulmand, 50, was appointed in 2020 as the successor to Age Hareide, whose contract expired after the dates initially set for that year’s European Championship. Hjulmand coached in Germany from 2014-15, replacing Thomas Tuchel at Mainz but failing to make it through his first season. After a second spell at Nordsjælland. Hjulmand guided the Danes to the semi-finals of Euro 2020, overcoming the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s on-pitch collapse in the opening game before falling just short against England after a controversial extra-time penalty.
Key player: Christian Eriksen’s mere presence at the World Cup is nothing short of a “miracle” in his own words. The Danish playmaker “died for five minutes” after collapsing on the pitch following a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020. He was fitted with a defibrillator but Italian rules prevented him from playing again with Inter Milan. Eriksen returned to action after eight months out with Brentford, where his displays earned him a move to Manchester United. The 30-year-old has been a regular for Erik ten Hag this season and will be appearing at his third World Cup.
Expectations and key players according to Klaus Egelund, Ekstra Bladet:
“Denmark will head into the World cup full of optimism. The semifinal spot in the European Championships have been followed by a strong Nations League campaign with two victories against France. In fact, Denmark is the first country to score four unanswered goals vs France since Spain in their Golden Age. Given the draw, Denmark has to make it to the knockout stage.”
“Andreas Skov Olsen is one of the most promising wingers in Europe and Jesper Lindstrøm is showing great promise in Frankfurt. Christian Eriksen have at times been matching his career best this fall. Only real concern for Denmark is that we are missing a proven goal scorer. And if we manage to avoid our current cryptonite Croatia, then this could become another promising tournament… I will not rule out a semifinal”.
November 22: Denmark v Tunisia.
November 26: France v Denmark.
November 30: Australia v Denmark.
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Nice), Oliver Christensen (Hertha Berlin).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (AC Milan), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Joakim Maehle (Atalanta), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona), Rasmus Kristensen (Leeds United), Jens Stryger Larsen (Trabzonspor), Victor Nelsson (Galatasaray), Daniel Wass (Brondby).
Midfielders: Thomas Delaney (Sevilla), Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Christian Eriksen (Manchester United), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur), Christian Norgaard (Brentford), Robert Skov (Hoffenheim).
Forwards: Andreas Skov Olsen (Club Bruges), Jesper Lindstrom (Eintracht Frankfurt), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol), Kasper Dolberg (Sevilla), Mikkel Damsgaard (Brentford), Jonas Wind (VfL Wolfsburg) Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig).
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