Denmark is one of the interesting European teams that will participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. The team heavily suffers from the syndrome of the inconsistency. Since forever Denmark was able to beat anyone and then lose against even the worst opponent. Probably because of that, the Danish Dynamite had qualified only for 4 World Cups in their history (the one in Russia will be their 5th). Regardless of the fact that Denmark had played only in four World Cups, the team has a really good record consisting of 8 wins in 16 World Cup games including a quarter-final finish at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Denmark is in a fairly easy group together with France, Australia, and Peru. For this reason who knows what can happen during the upcoming summer if Denmark finds its best form and keeps it consistency during the whole tournament.
HEAD COACH AND LINEUP
For 15 years the head coach of Denmark used to be Morten Olsen. In 2015, the Danish federation decided that they need a change. Plenty of famous coaches’ names were ‘’on the table’’, but the country picked the Norwegian Age Hareide. This choice was described as crazy and not reliable, but Hareide was able to qualify Denmark to the World Cup. It is true that Age Hareide does not have an experience in coaching big teams, but this does not mean that his attacking style is not successful. Since the start of his coaching, Denmark had been practicing a really beautiful and attacking football. Let’s look at what players Hareide can rely on.
Everyone knows that a good team cannot afford to have a bad goalkeeper. Danish fans are lucky because they have a great goalie. Kasper Schmeichel is starting to close the gap between his successes and the successes of his father Peter Schmeichel. Kasper even won the Premier League with Leicester City and it is a matter of time before he might get transferred to some of the best teams in England. In addition to all this, Kasper is 31 years old which is a great age for a goalie. For all these reasons, Denmark can be calm about their goalkeeper’s position.
There is no such goalie that can maintain a clean sheet if there are no good defenders in front of him. Especially in the last couple of years, Denmark created a couple of interesting defenders. Still, the key player in this zone of the squad is the captain and one of the most experienced players in the team – Simon Kjaer. Kjaer is 29 years old and this could be one of his last chances to put his name in the Danish football history. His aggression will be needed if the Danish Dynamite wants to stay in the tournament for as much as possible.
In the midfield line of the team, we can find the most important player of Denmark. This is the attacking midfielder of Tottenham Hotspurs – Christian Eriksen. Eriksen is among the best midfielders in the world and he can lead his nation towards great things. His wonderful shot can decide many games and for this reason, the Danish opponents must keep an eye on him.
In offense, Denmark has a couple of interesting players and each of them has different strengths. Still, we want to list one of them as the most important. Nicklas Bendtner or just Lord Bendtner might have been going downwards in his club career, but this does not mean that he had forgotten how to score goals. If he can bring back his wonderful form from his years in Arsenal, Denmark will have a top-level forward to rely on.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
As we already mentioned, the weakness of Denmark is the inconsistency. Denmark has plenty of great players, but sometimes the team performs poorly. This will be punished by the Danish opponents and they cannot afford to have moments of bad performance. The World Cup is a long tournament and the consistency is a vital factor. Meanwhile, Denmark does not have its nickname for no reason (the Dynamite). Denmark’s offense can explode like dynamite and even the best teams in the world can suffer from this.
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On the first glimpse, Denmark has an easy group for the World Cup, except France (will face them on June 26th) all other teams in the group are supposed to be weaker than the Danish Dynamite. For that same reason, it will be important for Denmark to win or at least not to lose in their first two games against Peru (June 16th) and Australia (June 21st). Do not be surprised if you see Denmark in the Round of 16 stage or even at the quarter-finals.