This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018

How will Denmark set up against Ireland in tomorrow's World Cup play-off?

The home side have got plenty of experience throughout the team.

The Danish players celebrating their win over Poland in September.
The Danish players celebrating their win over Poland in September.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

- Ben Blake reports from Copenhagen

HAVING TAKEN OVER from the long-serving Morton Olsen in March of last year, Denmark boss Age Hareide faces into his first play-off in the job tomorrow night.

Drawn in Group E, the Danes had a mixed start to the qualification campaign — opening with a 1-0 win over Armenia before suffering defeats to Poland and Montenegro.

However, a change of system from 3-5-2 to 4-3-3 coincided with a turnaround in fortunes and a 4-0 demolition of the Poles in Copenhagen set them up nicely to claim second place in the group.

Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel is the undoubted number one and a leader in the team along with captain Simon Kjaer of Sevilla.

With full-backs Riza Durmisi and Henrik Dalsgaard both ruled out, Peter Ankersen of FC Copenhagen and Udinese’s Jens Stryger Larsen are set to get the nod.

Andreas Christensen, who is back at Chelsea after a two-year loan spell with Borussia Mönchengladbach, has been tipped to become a top centre-half and starred for the Premier League champions in their recent victory over Manchester United.

Despite that, Brentford’s Andreas Bjelland is favourite to partner Kjaer at the heart of their defence as the left-sided player is favoured by Hareide at present.

United Kingdom: Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Christensen was excellent against Man United last week. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

At the base of a three-man midfield sits the industrious Thomas Delaney of Werder Bremen and William Kvist, who will be playing at his home ground. That gives their star talent Christian Eriksen licence to roam and get forward as much as possible.

The Tottenham playmaker was instrumental in getting Denmark this far with eight goals and three assists and, at just 25, he has already clocked up 73 international caps. Eriksen is the team’s designated penalty-taker but can also cause problems from set-pieces, long-range efforts and late runs into the box.

On the left side of the front three, Ugandan-born Pione Sisto has caught the eye in Spanish football this season. The former FC Midtjylland winger scored twice against Manchester United in the Europa League in 2016 before making the move to Celta Vigo.

And the 22-year-old currently sits above some of the world’s best footballers as the player with most assists in La Liga this term on seven.

Denmark: Denmark v Poland - World Cup 2018 Qualifier Pione Sisto has had a great start to the season with Celta Vigo. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Yussuf Poulsen, who plys his trade at RB Leipzig, will be a threat from the right if he gets the nod, while Nicolai Jorgensen should lead the line.

Top goalscorer in the Eredivisie last season as Feyenoord won the title, the striker has been deemed fit to feature despite breaking his wrist last Sunday. He will wear a protective cast.

Andreas Cornelius of Serie A outfit Atalanta scored two goals in qualifying and may feature at some stage, while the enigmatic Nicklas Bendtner started in their most recent game against Romania but is expected to be on the bench.

Predicted Denmark line-up (4-3-3): Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City); Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Bjelland, (Brentford), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese); William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur); Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jørgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo).

Subscribe to The42 podcasts here:

‘If you were playing Fifa or Football Manager, there’s no question you would be picking the Danish team’

‘I actually think we are the more physical side’: Schmeichel unconcerned by Irish toughness

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Ben Blake

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel