Denmark were unfancied when they won the European Championships 20 years ago but it would be even more of a surprise if they were lifting the Henry Delaunay trophy this summer.
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FIFA Ranking: 10
Best Finish at European Championships: Winner (1992)
Fixtures at Euro 2012
Saturday June 9
Kharkiv: Netherlands v Denmark (17:00)
Wednesday June 13
Lviv: Denmark v Portugal (17:00)
Sunday June 17
Lviv: Denmark v Germany (19:45)
Top Goalscorer in Qualifying: Nicklas Bendtner & Dennis Rommedahl (3 Goals)
Denmark were shock winners of the European Championship back in 1992, but the chances of them making it past the group stage in Poland and Ukraine look slim. The Danes have been grouped with Germany, Holland and Portugal, but they will have taken some confidence from finishing above Portugal during qualifying for this competition.
How They Qualified
Denmark secured automatic qualification to Euro 2012 by finishing as surprise winners of their group. The Danes were expected to finish second behind Portugal but instead capitalised on a slow start from the Portuguese – who took one point from their first two games – and never looked back.
They opened up with a win over Iceland before losing 3-1 in Portugal, but Morten Olsen’s men responded well by taking four points from their next two games with a win over Cyprus and draw against Norway. The Danes then stepped up a gear and reeled off four consecutive wins, with the last one a 2-1 victory against Portugal that wrapped up the group.
Morten Olsen is one of the longest serving coaches in international football having now entered his 12th year as boss of Denmark. Having tasted success at club level with Brondby and Ajax, Olsen took charge of the Danish national team back in 2000.
The 62-year-old has experienced mixed fortunes during his reign. Olsen has taken the team into the knockout stages at both the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, but there have been the disappointments of missing out on both the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008. They failed to progress from the group stage at the 2010 World Cup but that did not stop the Danish FA from handing Olsen a contract extension that will expire in 2014.
This could well be the tournament in which Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen makes a name for himself on the big stage. Eriksen, who will be 20 when the tournament gets under way in Poland and Ukraine, has become a regular starter for both club and country over the past 12 month, with many likening him to Danish legend Michael Laudrup.
Eriksen played a starring role in the 2-1 win over Portugal that secured Denmark’s place in Euro 2012. The young midfielder outshone star names like Cristiano Ronaldo in that match, wreaking havoc on the Portuguese defence throughout the 90 minutes. If he can reproduce that form in this tournament then Europe’s biggest clubs are certain to come calling during the summer months.
Euro 2012 Squad
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Stephan Andersen (Evian), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United).
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Roma), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Lars Jacobsen (Copenhagen), Andreas Bjelland (Nordsjaelland), Jores Okore (Nordsjaelland), Daniel Wass (Evian).
Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Evian), William Kvist (Stuttgart), Christian Eriksen (Ajax), Lasse Schone (NEC), Michael Silberbauer (Young Boys), Jakob Poulsen (Midtjylland), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge).
Forwards: Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby), Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby), Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland), Nicklas Pedersen (Groningen), Tobias Mikkelsen (Nordsjaelland).
Expected Starting Team
Andersen, Kjaer, Agger, S Poulsen, Wass, C Poulsen, Eriksen, Zimling, Schone, Rommedahl, Bendtner
Captain: Daniel Agger
Penalty Taker: Christian Poulsen
Top Team Goalscorer Tips
Denmark aren’t expected to score many goals at Euro 2012 and it is no surprise to see No Goalscorer priced as low as 7/1 with some firms. Bet Victor
are, however, a stand out 9/1 that no Dane hits the net in Ukraine and that could be the best play on Morten Olsen’s side.
Nicklas Bendtner is a threat but there are limits to how often the Sunderland striker can continue to perform poorly at club level and still score for the national. The fact that he is 7/2 favourite at Betfred
to be the team’s top scorer and the next nearest in the betting is 9/1 chance Dennis Rommedahl shows the paucity of Denmark’s attacking options. The value bet is, therefore, that the Danes exit Euro 2012 without a goal to their name.
No repeat of 1992’s heroics for this Denmark squad and thanks to a tough group they will do well to even claim a point.