World Cup Preview: Denmark

Christian Eriksen scoring for Denmark in the play offs
DUBLIN, DENMARK - NOVEMBER 14: Christian Eriksen of Denmark celebrates after scoring their third goal during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Play-Off Second Leg match between Republic of Ireland and Denmark at Aviva Stadium on November 14, 2017 in Dublin, Republic of Ireland. (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

World Cup Preview: Denmark

Denmark have been drawn in Group C for the upcoming World Cup in Russia. The Danes are to face Australia, France and Peru. Ranked 12th in the FIFA world rankings, Denmark are the 3rd lowest ranked side in the group. Australia are the lowest in 40th place, while South Americans Peru are one spot higher than France in 11th.

France are ranked as the seventh best international side in world football. Many would argue they should be ranked higher. The 2016 European Championship finalists are the clear favourites to win their group. France will also be a popular choice to win the entire competition. Denmark will likely battle it out with Peru for second spot in the group.

Denmark’s road to Russia

Denmark finished in second place in Group E of European qualifications. This only qualified Denmark for a playoff position, however, they soundly saw off the Republic of Ireland with a 5-1 aggregate victory over the two legs.

The Danes finished 5 points behind Poland in Group E. Considering the standard of their group, the Danes will be disappointed in their overall showing, and thus will be looking to improve. Losses to Montenegro and Poland, and a draw against Romania doesn’t reflect well on the Denmark side.

The Scandinavians will be aiming to qualify for the knockout rounds of the competition, but are unlikely to progress any further. It comes as no surprise therefore, that some bookmakers have given the Danes odds of 100/1 to win the World Cup

Eriksen is the greatest Dane.

The Danish squad consists of five Premier League players. The remainder is a mix of players playing second division football. A number of Danish league stars, and players from the French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and German leagues.

The familiar names from Age Hareide’s side include Premier League stars Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen, Ajax stars Lasse Schone and Kasper Dolberg. Former Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner has withdrawn from the squad following a groin injury.

The stand out player for Denmark is undoubtedly Tottenham midfield maestro Christain Eriksen. The former Ajax man has established himself as one of the top players in the Premier League, therefore Denmark will be looking to him to extend his good form to the international stage.

Onward, Christian?

Reported links of interest from Spanish giants Barcelona are therefore not surprising. Eriksen got his first ‘Premier League Team of the Year’ award this season. If Denmark are to progress in Russia, it is vital that the Spurs star performs. Erisken has stepped up for his country already this season. He scored an impressive hat-trick in their world cup playoff against Ireland.

The Great Dane has managed 10 Premier League goals and 10 assists this season. Eriksen also performed well in the Champions League this season with goals against both Real Madrid and Juventus. If Denmark have a good tournament, Christian Eriksen may be a real contender for the ‘Player of Tournament’ award.

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