Denmark

By Sam Burge

Team: Denmark

Nickname: Danish Dynamite

World ranking: 12

World Cup appearances: 4 (quarter finals in 1998; last appearance 2010)

Qualifying:
Denmark finished second to a red-hot Poland team in their European qualifying group meaning they had to go through a second round play-off where they faced the Republic of Ireland. The Danes drew the first leg at home 0-0 but won the second leg away 5-1 thanks to a Christian Eriksen hat-trick.

Group: C – which includes France, Peru and Australia.

Coach: Age Hareide
A talented defender in his day, the Norwegian has helped the Danes reach the World Cup after missing the 2014 tournament.

Captain: Simon Kjær
The centre back plies his trade in Spain for Sevilla and will be an integral part of Denmark’s wall at the back which also boasts Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and Leicester’s premier league-winning goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Player to watch: Christian Eriksen
The Danish wizard was pivotal in Denmark’s qualifying campaign scoring 11 goals throughout qualification. Remarkably Eriksen actually played for Denmark in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa at the age of 18. At 26, Eriksen is now at the peak of his powers and will look to help carry a strong Danish squad deep into the tournament. The attacking midfielder will look to create for his team mates but it is his goal scoring prowess which will help Denmark progress. Eriksen has consistently scored goals for Tottenham despite playing second fiddle to Harry Kane. With the team all his own, Eriksen could do anything at this Word Cup.

NowUC prediction: Round-of-16
With France being the powerhouse they are, Denmark will be in a battle with Australia and Peru for the other spot in the round of 16. With a solid defence and the wizardry of Eriksen look for Denmark to come second in Group C. If they manage to do so, a round-of-16 match with Argentina and Lionel Messi could be on the cards.

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