World Cup Wonder 2010 – Denmark – Solid foundations key for Danes

Morten Olsen has been the Coach of Denmark for ten years and is regarded as a Danish footballing legend. He has a great record as Coach, winning over 50% of his games in charge. This will be his second World Cup whilst in charge of the national side, and while his squad lack quality they are expected to progress through the group stages at least.

In goal the Danes will hope that Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen recovers in time to start in South Africa. Sorensen is a very capable goalkeeper – although at times he can be brilliant, he can sometimes be a bit erratic as well. However, if he is unfit, the No.1 spot will either go to Jesper Christiansen or Stephan Andersen who both have performed well for their respective clubs this season, although, Andersen may get the shirt after being used as Sorensen’s understudy in qualifying.

The Danes will also need to keep things tight at the back. They have a solid centre-back pairing of Simon Kjaer and Daniel Agger. Agger has proved at Liverpool he is capable of handling some of the best strikers in the world and also has a powerful left foot which can be useful for set-pieces. Kjaer is highly-rated in Denmark and Italy where he plays for Palermo, and indeed rumours were rife last summer and in January linking him with Manchester City. He has earned eight International caps despite only being 21. Playing at right-back will be either Lars Jacobsen or William Kvist .Jacobsen has proven a steady option for Blackburn in the Premier League when called upon and will look to do the same in South Africa, however, Kvist will push him all the way for the coveted spot. At left-back will be either Patrick Mtiliga or Simon Poulsen – the position appears to be a weak spot in the Danish team with no real standout players in the position. Depending on the system played Per Kroldrup could be an option for Olsen, as the former Everton man has valuable experience whilst playing in Serie A with Fiorentina and has 30 caps for the Danes.

In midfield, Denmark lack in any real quality, so much will be expected of Wolfsburg’s Thomas Kahlenburg and former Charlton player Dennis Rommedahl to provide for the front-line. Christian Poulsen is another player who must perform, he can play anywhere across the middle and his versatility will be a real asset for Olsen. The Danes are not short in experience and they will need to draw on this from players such as Jesper Gronkjaer and Martin Jorgensen who have over 150 International caps between them. Other options at Olsen’s disposal are Daniel Jensen, who may feature in the starting XI again depending on the system Denmark adopt, Michael Silberbauer and Jakob Poulsen.

Denmark’s main threat comes from the physical presence that is Nicklas Bendtner, as his height and strength allows the other players in the team play off him, as well as being a distinctive goal threat. Jon Dahl Tomasson is also a key player with his goal record at international level outstanding and is only one goal away from equalling Denmark’s highest goal scorer. His record at the World Cup is also impressive with four goals in four appearances. Along with Bendtner and Tomasson, the Danes other striking threat is that of Soren Larsen. The 6ft 4in striker has 11 goals in his 17 International games and was their top scorer in qualifying. Expect the Danes to start with Larsen and Bendtner up front with Tomasson coming off the bench to be used as an impact player. The issue may be if Olsen decides to go with one up front if so expect Bendtner to get the nod despite Larsen’s impressive record.


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