Denmark Camp Focus – Injured keeper Sorensen named in provisional squad

Denmark Head Coach Morten Olsen has named injured goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen in his provisional squad for the World Cup. The Stoke City keeper, who injured himself playing against Premier League champions Chelsea back in April, is named despite doubts about his fitness. It is a risk to name a player who dislocated their elbow so close to the start of the tournament, but the boss has decided it is a gamble worth taking. Sorensen has a race against time to prove his fitness before his nation’s first game against Holland on Monday June 14. He is still hopeful that he will be fit for their opening game in South Africa.

The Potter’s shot-stopper has been his country’s first choice for nine years and he will be much missed if he cannot play any part. His performances at club level in the last two seasons have been impressive. Stoke have a decent defensive record when the Dane is in goal. During January’s transfer window the former Aston Villa keeper was linked with a move to Bayern Munich. Stephan Andersen of Brondby will be ready to step up if the No. 1 cannot play any part of the tournament. The one major shock coming out of the Danish camp is the inclusion of Patrick Mtiliga, who has not appeared for the national team since 2008. Mtiliga moved from NAC Breda to Malaga last summer and his performances must have impressed the head coach. The Spanish outfit only just staved off relegation thanks to a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Sunday.

The left-back’s one and only cap for his nation came against Wales and he has not featured since. His addition to the camp will have certainly come of a surprise to both Denmark and himself having not played for them in such a long time. Otherwise there are no real surprises, with the usual selection of players who achieved qualification by winning their group. British based players include Nicklas Bendtner, Daniel Agger, Lars Jacobsen and Morten Rasmussen. Given the quality of the Premier League, the Danes will be hoping they can make a big impact at this summer’s competition. The Reds were dealt a major blow when Hanover 96 player Leon Andreasen ruled himself out for the summer’s action just last week. The midfielder requires surgery on a leg injury he suffered whilst playing for his club.

Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner and Toulouse’s Soren Larsen both had good qualifying campaigns and they will be supported by the experience of captain Jon Dahl Tomasson. The skipper could be making his last appearance at a World Cup and he is only two goals away from becoming Denmark’s all time top goal scorer. Bendtner largely featured in the gunner’s title run in scoring a number of late goals. He did not feature in the North London side’s last two games because of injury, but he is expected to recover. The Olsen gang last appeared in the world finals back in 2002 where they lost 3-0 against England in the second round. After beating Scandinavian rivals Sweden in the group stages, there is real hope that Olsen’s army can pose a real threat in the summer and become the tournament’s surprise package.

Olsen named a 26-man squad with four players on standby. They first have a friendly in preparation for the WC against Senegal on May 27. After that the squad will be reduced to 23 players who will fly off to South Africa.

The Scandinavian outfit will play in Group E, alongside Holland, Cameron and Japan.

Jesper Christiansen (FC Copenhagen)
Kim Christensen (IFK Gothenburg)
Stephan Andersen (Brondby)
Thomas Sorensen (Stoke City)

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

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

Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby)
Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal)
Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord)
Soren Larsen (Duisburg)

Stand by
Anders Moller Christensen (Odense)
Leon Jessen (FC Midtjylland)
Mikkel Thygesen (FC Midtjylland)
Morten Rasmussen (Celtic)


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