Denmark Camp Focus – Olsen goes for experience between the sticks with final World Cup 23

Denmark Head Coach Morten Olsen has cut his provisional squad to the final 23 required with goalkeeper Kim Christensen missing out. The IFK Goteborg keeper started his first international match against Senegal but was substituted at half-time.

It now means the Danes have three goalkeepers amongst their squad, with the injured Thomas Sorensen, Jesper Christiansen and Stephan Andersen all included. It looked as if Kim would make it to South Africa after Andersen played no part in last night’s game but it has been decided not to risk an inexperienced international player. The Goteborg keeper made headlines back in 2009 when he was seen kicking the posts of the goal inwards to make it smaller. The referee did not notice the change until 20 minutes into the match and Kim has admitted to doing this before.

Michael Silberbauer, Michael Khron-Dehli and Celtic’s Morten Rasmussen were also withdrawn. It will come as a blow to Rasmussen as he was expected to play some part in the friendly but alongside Silberbauer could only watch on from the bench. The Scotland-based forward has featured very little for Olsen but he did play some part in the qualifying campaign, mostly as a replacement striker. He moved from to Celtic Park from Brondby in January and has scored three goals in eight appearances in all competitions.

Khron-Dehli appeared as a second-half substitute but it was not quite enough to impress. The winger has played much of his career in the Netherlands but moved to Brondby in 2008. He made his international debut against Liechtenstein in 2006 and has made five caps since. Silberbauer is another midfielder who misses out. The FC Utrecht has 15 caps for the Reds and his form has improved over recent years. He was in competition amongst others for a replacement on the right-hand side of the midfield, where Dennis Rommedahl played in the latest match. Rommedahl played poorly and his place was in real jeopardy but Olsen has kept faith with Ajax winger.

Simon Kjaer, who was stretchered off after suffering an injury late on, has been named in the final squad. The 21-year-old Palermo defender sustained the injury after making a last-ditch tackle to deny Manchester United’s Mame Biram Diouf from scoring. It is not yet known how serious the injury is but his inclusion gives a small indication that the problem is not as bad as first feared. The defender has impressed since becoming a first-team regular during the qualifying campaign. Mikkel Beckmann was also forced off during the game and he was seen on the touchline with an ice pack on his ankle. It may have been a slight knock but the coaching staff were taking no risks on aggravating injuries for the sake of a friendly.

Nicklas Bendtner has also been named in the 23-man squad and they expect him to be fit for their opener against the Netherlands on Monday June 14. Denmark’s other opponents include Cameroon and Japan in what has been described as tough group to qualify from. The Olsen Gang have one more friendly against Australia on Tuesday June 1, which will be played in South Africa. After that the real work starts where the 36th-ranked side in the world hope to carry on their impressive record of progressing to the knock-out stage of the World Cup. Achieving this would make it four times that they have reached the second round of the tournament. Their best achievement came when they reached the quarter-finals in 1998, where they lost 3-2 to runners-up Brazil.

Final 23-man Denmark squad

Goalkeepers
Jesper Christiansen (FC Copenhagen)
Stephan Andersen (Brondby)
Thomas Sorensen (Stoke City)

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

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

Forwards
Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal)
Jon Dahl Tomasson (Feyenoord)
Soren Larsen (Duisburg)

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