After an impressive qualification campaign that saw them finish ahead of Portugal and Sweden, Denmark have been handed a relatively tricky World Cup group stage. Netherlands are likely to be the overwhelming favourites whilst Japan are the rank underdogs having never won a World Cup match outside of their continent. Theoretically, Denmark and Cameroon will be battling it out for second place. Cameroon are extremely unpredictable even though their squad contains quality players such as Samuel Eto’o. On the other hand, Denmark are a model of consistency although perhaps don’t possess the star names of some of the other nations.
Should they finish runners up in Group E, Denmark would be extremely likely to face defending champions Italy in round two. The Italians have an ageing team and there would be a possibility of an upset if that tie went ahead. However, the quarter finals would bring an extremely difficult tie with favourites Spain being the likely opposition. Even if Spain were to suffer a shock early exit, Portugal, Ivory Coast or even Brazil would see the Danes as the underdogs.
Morton Olsen is likely to know his core selection for his 23 man squad by now. Denmark aren’t blessed with a huge depth of talent so the manager is quite often restricted in the personnel he chooses. Here is a list of the players who are very likely to be on the plane to South Africa.
With a solid core of players who are comfortable performing in the best leagues in Europe, Denmark have the potential to throw up a couple of surprises at South Africa 2010. I’m backing them to overcome the underachieving Cameroon. I then fancy them to knock out the ageing Italians in Round Two which will end the defence of their title. However, their run will come to an end in the Quarter Finals.
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