Denmark have qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 2010, after missing out on Brazil 2014. Their 2010 run was not successful as they would have hoped, as they were knocked out in the group stage; thanks to losses to Japan and the Netherlands. They did, however, pick up a 2-1 win over Cameroon – but unfortunately only managed a third place finish.
This year Denmark are back; having qualified for Russia thanks to a 5-1 win over the Republic of Ireland. They have been drawn into Group C along with France, Australia and Peru.
Unfortunately Denmark are without fan favourite Nicklas Bendtner after he was left out of the 23-man-squad due to a groin injury suffered while on club duty for Rosenborg. He traveled with the provisional team but devastatingly hadn’t recovered in time to make it into the squad.
The gap left by Bendtner could potentially be filled by 20 year old Kasper Dolberg. The young Dane’s first international appearance was when he came on as a substitute in the 68th minute for Yussuf Poulsen in a qualifier against Kazakhstan. In the 81st minute, Dolberg scored his first, and currently only, international goal to secure a 3-1 win. Poulsen and Dolberg will no doubt be relishing at the prospect of attempting to replace the mighty ‘Lord Bendtner’ and will have the opportunity to shine as Denmark fight for World Cup glory.
Christian Eriksen is a stand-out player in the Danish squad and will be hoping to add to his 77 caps and 21 goals. The 26-year-old midfielder had a good season for Tottenham Hotspur, appearing 37 times and providing 10 goals to help them reach 3rd in the Premier League. He was outstanding in the qualifiers and is no doubt a key player for Denmark.
Kasper Schmeichel is the man between the sticks for Denmark. The son of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel is hoping to provide security at the back, which the Danes will need when facing opponents like France. The 31-year-old has appeared 34 times for Denmark and was a crucial part in securing qualification for the World Cup. Schmeichel is also a holder of a Premier League winners’ medal, something that none of the rest of Denmark’s squad can say that they have.
Denmark have a good chance of making it past the group stage this year, they have a winnable game against Peru to kick off their World Cup on the 16th of June. An evenly matched game on paper with Australia on the 21st of June and finally, facing their toughest opponents of Group C on the 26th of June in a match against France.