Euro 2012 guide: Denmark

ONE TO WATCH: Christian Eriksen (right)
ONE TO WATCH: Christian Eriksen (right)
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WHILE they might be the least fancied side in a group containing Holland, Portugal and Germany, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Denmark should be, or will be, taken lightly.

They have qualities you’d expect such as a sound work ethic and have attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, thought by many as the best player Denmark’s produced since Michael Laudrup. Expect the Danes to be a decent match for anyone in group B and don’t be surprised if they qualify for the quarters.

Coach

The longest serving coach at Euro 2012, the 62 year old Morten Olsen provides the team with outstanding leadership and has the respect of the players. The player’s respect of the coach is one of the main reasons why Denmark always seems to give a good account of themselves at tournaments. Olsen will have Denmark playing with a familiar 4-3-3 shape that will look to provide pace and width down both wings.

Key Player

A once in a generation talent for the Danes 20 year old Christian Eriksen will carry the hopes of the team on his young shoulders. The reigning Danish player of the year will play as the link between midfield and attack and will look to provide the bullets for striker Nicklas Bendtner. The Ajax midfielder plays with great imagination and will be particularly important of the counter attack as Denmark look to use their speedy wingers.

One to watch

Two years ago Simon Kjaer was one of the most sought after defenders in Europe. After much speculation he ended up at German side Wolfsburg however his form dropped. After a poor season on loan at Roma, and his future still undecided, Kjaer will hope that a positive tournament can get his career back on track. Still only 23, the central defender still has the potential to go on and have a fine career in European football. When on form, Kjaer can be a weapon from the back, picking out passes over long distances. He showed that ability with a fantastic pass for Dennis Rommedahl that led to a goal against Cameroon in the last World Cup.

Why they could have a good tournament...

The Danes will relish being the underdogs in very tough group. As a result of the group they’ll be happy to sit firm and look to his teams of the counter. They have the tools for it too with the pace of Dennis Rommedahl and Michael Krohn-Dehli while at the back in form Daniel Agger should revel in leading the defence. As mentioned before Eriksen will be very important and will hope to find space behind the opponent’s midfield and defence.

Why they could have a bad tournament...

Their starting XI looks very strong but the big problem is a lack of strength in depth. Should the Euro 1992 winners lose Agger, Eriksen or Bendtner, their chances of qualifying will be seriously reduced. Add to this being drawn in the ‘group of death’ and nobody will be shocked to see the Denmark going home after 3 games.