Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Coach: Åge Hareide
The former European champions qualified to the World Cup for the fifth time and their biggest achievement so far in the quarter-finals in France 1998. Denmark failed to progress to the second phase on just one occasion, in South Africa 2010, and although they didn’t participate in Brazil four years ago, now they have a solid chance to make it of the Round of 16.
Denmark was drawn in the Group C together with the former World champions France, former South American champions Peru, and Australia, and the Red-White are considered as the second strongest team in the group alongside France, so failing to reach the next stage would be surprising. Denmark is currently positioned in the 12th place in the FIFA world rankings, France is the highest-ranked in the 7th spot, Peru is in the 11th position, while Australia is the worst-ranked in the 40th spot.
Denmark has the strongest team since the era of brothers Laudrup and there is a lot of talent in the squad, but I would like to highlight their defense with the captain Simon Kjaer as its leader. Åge Hareide’s team conceded just nine goals in 12 games in the qualifications, and five of those were against Poland and Montenegro, who are the only sides that managed to score two or more past the excellent Kasper Schmeichel.
The defense consisted of Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, and RizaDurmisi, among others plays very well and they can be a real danger when it comes to indirect set-pieces, especially Kjaer and Christensen. Their biggest test will be against France, while Denmark shouldn’t have problems with Peru, and Australia.
The Danish side is quite compact and although there is no major weakness in this squad, I believe that lack of striker who scores on regular basis is maybe the only one. Denmark has Nicklas Bendtner, Nicolai Jørgensen, Yussuf Poulsen, and the youngster Kasper Dolberg in the attack, but none of them has the required experience at big tournaments and that could be an issue, but luckily for them, they have a magician to feed them with passes from midfield – Christian Eriksen.
To Reach Semi-Finals: +1000
To Reach Quarter-Finals: +450
Group Qualifying Yes/No: -163/+125
Group Phase Matches:
Denmark’s player to watch
Not plenty of teams have the player of Christian Eriksen’s caliber in their squad, and the attacking midfielder is surely one of the best at his position. He drove his national side forward through the qualification phase and scored a hat-trick in the second leg of the playoffs with Ireland, so I have no doubts that every attacking play will go through his feet.
Eriksen is representing Tottenham Hotspur with success for years now and he recorded 14 goals and 13 assists in 47 appearances in the 2017/18, and despite not having the striking force such is Harry Kane to play in front of him, the 26-year-old is capable of winning the game by himself, so he has the potential to be even selected to the World Cup’s best eleven in Russia. The most complete player in the team, Eriksen is dangerous with ball in his feet, can be deadly with shots from outside the box, and is specialist when it comes to set-pieces, so many coaches would like to have a player like him in the squad.
Denmark’s World Cup 2018 Prediction
Denmark disappointed in their previous World Cup appearance when they failed to reach the Round of 16 in South Africa 2010, but this time around, the 1/8 finals is a realistic goal considering the quality of the Group C. The Red-White will likely go through the next round if they start the tournament with a victory over Peru, and good for them is that they are facing Australia in the next game, so Denmark could book their place in the Round of 16 with a pair of wins before they meet France in the last round of the group phase.