Denmark vs Portugal - Match preview and team news
Few would have seen Denmark placed ahead of Portugal in Group B after one game given the pre-tournament hype surrounding Paulo Bento’s men, but as the build-up to the two sides encounter, Denmark could all but assure their passage to the Quarter-Finals with a win.
Portugal sit bottom of the ‘group of death’ and Paulo Bento knows a loss against the Danes will effectively end their Euro 2012 campaign, which has been marred by a rumoured bust-up with star player Cristiano Ronaldo after their opening match on Saturday.
In the wake of Portugal’s narrow loss to Germany, Bento told assembled journalists: "There is more pressure than before the match against Germany and on Wednesday we will be up against a tough opponent, so we shall have to impose our game from the outset.”
With criticism in the Portuguese media and damming reports from national heroes Luis Figo and Rui Costa, a result against a well organised Danish side will allay fears that Bento has lost the dressing room.
Despite several negatives after the Germany game, there is however a positive as there are no fresh injury concerns for both sides, though it is expected that Bento will drop the largely ineffective Helder Postiga in the lone striker role, with Hugo Almeida or Nelson Oliveira set to take his place.
Danish coach Morten Olsen may hand a start to Michael Silberauer who man-marked Ronaldo out of the game when the sides met last, and with no reported injuries, the Danes could line-up much the same as in their victory against Holland.
History has not been kind to Portugal when playing against Denmark, with Morten Olsen overseeing the Danish sides’ finish above Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates in the qualification for this summer’s tournament. When the two sides met back in October Denmark won 2-1, shutting out the Real Madrid winger.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Holland v Germany