FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 – Denmark

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Our FIFA World Cup Special continues with the preview of the Denmark national football team, as they will play in the Group C alongside France, Peru, and Australia. The Danes should be satisfied with a draw, playing their first match of the tournament against Peru as +110 favorites on June 16th, 2018, at Mordovia Arena in Saransk, while five days later they meet Australia as -118 favorites at Samara Arena in Samara. Denmark will play their third match of the group stage against France as +450 underdogs on June 26th, 2018, at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Interestingly, the Danes already played with the Blues in the same group on the FIFA World Cup, and it was in France 1998 (France won 2-1), and South Korea and Japan 2002 (Denmark won 2-0).

This will be the fifth time Denmark participates on the biggest stage, and their best result so far was in France 1998 when the Danes reached the Quarter-Finals, eventually losing 3-2 to Brasil in a magnificent match. The Danes have managed to qualify from the group phase three times in the past, while the bookies set them as -163 favorites to reach the second round in Russia this summer. If you think they can replicate their biggest success from France 1998, the price is set at +600, while for the one step further the market in a Bet365 Sportsbook is at +1000.

MARKETS

Winner: +8000 at Bet365 Sportsbook

To Reach Semi-Finals: +1000

To Reach Quarter-Finals: +600

Group Qualifying Yes/No: -163 / +125

Group Phase Matches:

Home Away 1 Draw 2 O/U +2.5
Denmark Peru +110 +225 +260 +115 / -150
Denmark Australia -118 +240 +333 +115 / -150
Denmark France +450 +275 -163 +105 / -134

SQUAD

Denmark is mainly the hard-working team with a military discipline, but they have a few quite talented players in their squad. The best player and the leader of this generation is Christian Eriksen (75 caps, 21 goals) who plays for Tottenham, as the 26-year old playmaker is among the best attacking midfielders in the world at the moment. Eriksen is a skillful player who can dictate the tempo, while he is also a great goalscorer, always dangerous from the free-kicks or when he runs from the deep. In 33 appearances for Tottenham this season, Eriksen has scored nine goals, adding eight assists to his name.

Alongside Christian Eriksen there are a couple of more interesting midfielders in the squad – Thomas Delaney (23 caps, 4 goals), Lasse Schone (32 caps, 3 goals), Daniel Wass (16 caps), but keep your eyes on Pione Sisto (10 caps) from Celta Vigo, as the 23-year old winger has recorded 10 dishes in 25 apps for the Sky Blues thus far, also adding four goals to his name. Sisto is a brilliant player with an excellent technique, so he could be a potential star of this 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The 28-year old centre-back Simon Kjaer is the captain and the defensive rock of this Denmark team along with the goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (31 caps), while the 25-year old Jannik Vestergaard and the 21-year old Andreas Christensen should both play an important role on this tournament. In the front, there are some interesting players as Nicolai Jorgensen (28 caps, 8 goals), Nicklas Bendtner (79 caps, 30 goals), and Yussuf Poulsen (24 caps, 3 goals), while the potential surprise could be the 20-year old Kasper Dolberg (4 caps, 1 goal) from Ajax Amsterdam. The head coach Age Hareide is an experienced tactician and his team can adapt to different types of play, so you can see Denmark playing in a 3-5-2 or a 4-2-1-3 formation.

The road to 2018 World Cup: Denmark qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia after beating the Republic of Ireland 5-1 on aggregate in European play-offs. The first leg in Copenhagen was ended in a nil-nil draw, while in the second the Danish Dynamite has exploded bagging five goals including Christian Eriksen’s furious hat-trick. Denmark finished in the second spot of the European qualification Group E table with 20 points, a 20:8 goal difference, and a 6-2-2 record, five points behind Poland, and ahead of Montenegro, Romania, Armenia, and Kazakhstan. In five encounters at home, they had a 3-1-1 record with a 10:3 goal difference, while on the road it was the same record with a 10:5 goal difference. A half of their group matches were finished in the over, two of them on the home soil.

Gains: Hard work, reliable defense, and discipline, these are all positives which could guide them far away in this tournament, particularly in a combination with Christian Eriksen’s mastery. Denmark is especially dangerous on counter-attacks, as they prefer a direct passing game.

Shortcomings: On the other side, a potential Eriksen’s injury could be a huge blow for Age Hareide’s team, as Delaney, Kvist, and Wass are more fighters than creatives. A lack of the first-class powerhouse forward is also a big problem for the Danes, and we’ll see if Jorgensen or Bendtner could find the right form in Russia.

Players to Watch: Christian Eriksen, Pione Sisto, Kasper Dolberg

Top Goalscorer: Christian Eriksen +8000, Nicolai Jorgensen +10000

MY PICK: Denmark to Win vs. Peru (+110) – the first match on the tournament is always a tricky one, but I believe Denmark is a better team than the Incas, while the market on this one seems pretty attractive.

ADDITIONAL PICK: Denmark to Win vs. Australia (-118) – if you prefer to skip betting on the opening clash then you should consider putting your money on Denmark against Socceroos. If the Danes want to reach the second round, they will need at least one triumph from the first two matches before they meet France in the third round of the group stage.

Against the Odds: Denmark to reach the Quarter-Finals (+600) – the bookies already see Denmark in the second round, but a potential rival from the Group D should be a tough one – Argentina, Croatia, or even Nigeria. However, I think the Danish Dynamite is ready to make some damage, and if all key players stay healthy, keep track of these guys.