Euro 2012 Previews: #8 Denmark

The Danes are certainly the weakest team in the Group of Death, going be FIFA rankings, that is, but the 1992 surprise winners certainly won’t be going down without a fight. Given no hope and being rank outsiders in this group is something which Denmark are accustomed to when it comes to European Championships.

Qualifying ahead of Portugal, whom they’ve been drawn with again in this group, the Danes already have the experience of having beaten the Portuguese once this season when it really matter, the question is can they manage to do it again and be ready to pounce if any of the other side were to slip up against one another. If the Danes are to get out of this group 2nd place looks to be their only option, one would imagine, even then it will be pretty tough.

After almost 12 years in at the helm of the national team, Morten Olsen continues to have the same drive, passion and enthusiasm for the job. Olsen will be one of the longest serving coaches at Euro 2012 and is also one of the longest serving coaching in the international game around the world. He has regularly guided Denmark to major tournaments, qualifying for the 2002 World Cup, Euro 2004, 2010 World Cup and now Euro 2012.

In looking at the 23-man squad than Olsen has picked for Poland-Ukraine, goals certainly look hard to come by. Strikers, Nicklas Bendtner and Dennis Rommedahl have scored 17 and 21 international goals respectively, while the rest of the 21 players combined have scored 26 international goals. The next highest scorer behind Rommedahl and Bendtner is midfielder Christian Poulsen with 5 goals. Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen, who has just reached 100 caps for his country, will play in his fourth major tournament (UPDATE May 29th – Sorensen ruled out with a back-injury replaced by Kasper Schmeichel), while ex-Charlton Athletic striker, Dennis Rommedahl, currently capped 114 times (all of those under Olsen) continues to edge towards Peter Schmeichel’s record of 129 caps.

A very tough group for Denmark, progress to the knock-out stages will certainly be close to impossible, but who knows? They might just surprise us all. Again.

Fixtures: Denmark vs. Holland (June, 9th), Denmark vs. Portugal (June, 13th) and Denmark vs. Germany (June, 17th)

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