Danes plot upset in Group B decider

Posted by Tom Beck

Denmark head into their final game in Group B needing at least a draw to have any chance of qualification into the quarter-finals. Should the Danes beat Germany in Lyiv, the famous red and white will qualify automatically due to their head to head record. However, should the Olsen Gang draw with Germany tomorrow evening, they will need Holland to do them a favour by beating Portugal for them to qualify.


These two sides faced each other in the Euro 1992 final, their last competitive fixture. The Danes won a famous victory, 2-0, following goals from John Jensen and Kim Vilfort to win their first and only major tournament. Germany have beaten Denmark 14 times in their last 25 fixtures, however, in their three most recent games, Denmark are unbeaten, winning twice.


Germany looked dominant in their 2-1 victory over Holland on Wednesday, as they taught the Dutch a lesson on finishing against their opportunities. Mario Gomez, tournament joint top goal scorer, scored twice despite having possession for just 18 seconds all game. Simon Kjaer and Daniel Agger will have to replicate the form they produced against the Netherlands in their first game of the tournament if they are going to prevent the lethal Bayern Munich striker from adding to his tally. William Kvist will also have a tough job stopping Real Madrid’s creative lynchpin, Mesut Ozil as he scurries between the lines.


Going forward, Christian Eriksen has not shone in his two games this tournament and was replaced just after the hour mark against Portugal. He will need to be inspirational if Denmark to sneak a point against the prolific Germans. Nicklas Bendtner is full of confidence following his two goal display against the Portuguese and will be hoping to continue his goal scoring feat into the Danes’ last group game.


Denmark will be without their experienced winger, Dennis Rommedahl, after picking up a hamstring injury in their 3-2 defeat to Portugal. The more complete Tobias Mikkelsen will replace the 33-year-old Brondby winger. Despite Rommedahl’s valuable experience from his 118 caps for his country, Mikkelsen will provide a technically gifted ball playing winger, rather than just merely pure pace down the flanks.


In other team news, Jakob Poulsen will start in front of Niki Zimling after the Club Brugge centre midfielder hobbled off the pitch during their last game with a calf strain. Jakob Poulsen has been chosen over Christian Poulsen and will have to work hard defensively, something he is not used to, following Zimling’s untimely injury.


Probable line-ups:


Denmark (4-2-3-1): Andersen; Jacobsen, Agger, Kjaer, S Poulsen; Kvist, J Poulsen; Mikkelsen, Eriksen, Krohn-Dehli; Bendtner


Germany (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Bender, Hummels, Badstuber, Lahm; Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Muller, Ozil, Podolski; Gomez


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