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UEFA Euro 2012 betting preview – Denmark

By howtobet on April 20, 2012 in Betting Guide

If what you are looking for is more Euro 2012 betting previews you definitely are in for a treat. Our aim is currently on Group B, and what a group this is! Germany, Portugal, Netherlands and Denmark are out to tap dance against each other.

In other words; every football lover should look forward to a high end Euro 2012 betting experience when the Goliaths of this group collide. The aim of this article is to give you a good overview of the underdogs from Denmark.

Euro 2012 betting odds

The Euro 2012 betting odds for Denmark are obviously effected a lot by the fact that Denmark is running into three of the best teams in Europe in the group stage and with an average odds of 84/1 (85.00) Denmark (some bookies gives more than 104 to 1) is last on the outright winner list.

If you like to bet on Denmark to progress from the group, the odds are around 5/1 (6.00) and this might be marginal value. A lot of things have to go right for Denmark if they are even to get points this summer.

Let’s take a closer look at the Danish squad and hopefully this info will guide and help you to decide if it is valuable to try your luck on the Danes.

Danish national team history

Even though, Denmark did participate in the Euro 1964, many would consider the 1984 event as the first major tournament for the Danes, and the start of a great era, where after a semifinal loss to the host France in 1984, they took the world by storm in the following World Cup.

In Mexico 86 the Danish became the darlings for the locals after three impressing group games, where their attractive offensive style secured winnings over Scotland (1-0), Uruguay (6-1) and Germany (2-0), before they became a victim of their own style and lost to Spain in the playoff (1-5).

The Euro 1988 was not successful for Denmark, and the team didn’t even qualify for the 1990 World Cup. The new coach Richard Møller Nielsen took over from the popular Sepp Piontek. He didn’t get off to a good start and was hunted by the media and the fans after a failed qualification to the 1992 event. An event Denmark still got a late ticket for due to the war in Yugoslavia.

The late call up meant that the Danish players all came from their summer houses and in physically less than optimal shape as they hardly had any time to prepare.

Players, fans and especially opponents quickly labeled games against Denmark as walk overs, but we all know how it ended - the Danes somehow managed to go all the way and finish an almost impossible mission by beating Germany in the final.

The achievement in the Euro 92 tournament and the attitude among the players, fans and Danes in general is actually typical Danish - Danes always seem to perform better when they are underdogs and can surprise. Therefore, this summer’s event - 20 years after the final in Gothenburg - can draw some parallels.

In the following WC´s and Euro´s, Denmark was a regular participant and did deliver the odd good game, but apart from some good performances in the WC 1998, it was a fairly quiet period for Denmark, which in 2000 appointed current manager Morten Olsen.

He qualified Denmark for both the WC 2002 and Euro 2004 (remembered by many punters for the final group game between Sweden and Denmark, where the exact result of 2-2 sent the two neighbors through and Italy out). In both tournaments Denmark was knocked out in the first playoff round, and when Denmark failed to qualify for the WC 2006, he was very close to leaving his post.

Denmark also failed to qualify for the EURO 2008 and then the public really wanted him out, however he stayed and led Denmark to the WC 2010, where the Danes disappointed and were knocked out in the group stage. The on pitch performances were under siege by the media for a long time.

Once again Morten Olsen somehow extended his contract and during the Euro 2012 qualification campaign his popularity rose again, when Denmark apart from winning the group also delivered some good and attractive football.

Danish team sheet for the UEFA EURO 2012.

In goal, Denmark has the experienced Thomas Sørensen who earned his 100th national cap in the spring.

The Stoke keeper is a good and reliable one, however he is not a top drawer keeper, and in previous international tournaments he has made crucial mistakes.

This season he hasn’t even got regular 1st team football in Stoke, and he is being pressed for the Danish number 1 shirt by Manchester United’s Anders Lindegaard, who unfortunately had injury problems in the spring.

Therefore it is likely coach Morten Olsen will give Thomas Sørensen this last tournament before switching to another goalie.

Liverpool’s Daniel Agger is the rock and of vital importance in Denmark’s defense. He has been hit with injuries throughout his career, but when in top form he is a world class defender who apart from his defending skills also is good at going forward.

He will either be partnered by Roma loan signing Simon Kjær or Andreas Bjelland (both 23), that plays for Danish side Nordsjælland but has signed for Dutch team Twente this summer

Kjær is owned by German outfit Wolfsburg, but never really has impressed there despite a glorious start in his international career in Palermo. He has been criticized lately, and it is really hard to say if Morten Olsen will stick to him or use Andreas Bjelland.

At least Denmark is well covered on these positions with Simon Kjær being best against big strong strikers and Bjelland best again small fast ones.

On the two backs, Denmark will likely start with FC Copenhagens Lars Jakobsen and Simon Poulsen from AZ Alkmaar. Both stable backs, but they are both stronger in the offense than in the defense, and especially Poulsen still hasn’t shown consistent level on the national team.

Since young Ajax starlet Nicolai Boilesen, doesn’t seem to be ready for Euro 2012 due to a longer injury, it is only Michael Silberbauer who otherwise can be used on Poulsen´s left back position.

Defensive conclusions

Denmark doesn’t have a defense, which is able to close down a game and which can be reliable when it comes to keeping clean sheets. On the other hand, the ball playing and technical fairly strong defenders do give Denmark good build ups for attacks all the way from the back.

The biggest weakness in the mediocre Danish defense is for sure the inconsistent Thomas Sørensen in the goal. We also want to point out that it is of huge importance that Agger is fit.

Danish midfield and attacking options

In the motor room of Denmark’s 4-2-3-1 formation we find William Kvist and Niki Zimling.

Kvist was a vital player during FC Copenhagen’s Champions League campaign last season and was sold to Stuttgart last summer. He has really impressed in his first year in the Bundesliga and he is a coming captain for both Denmark and Stuttgart.

The hard working midfielder is an obvious sure starter and in the late part of the qualification campaign he has been partnered with Club Brügge´s Zimling who is a bit more offensive than Kvist.

Experienced Christian Poulsen from Evian or Jacob Poulsen from Danish club FC Midtjylland are the alternatives to Zimling.

In front of them in the number 10 spot, we have Denmark’s football darling number one. The 20 year old Ajax player Christian Eriksen, who is being compared by many to legend Michael Laudrup, is one of the best coming out of Denmark in many years. The technical and creative midfielder who is being closely monitored by Manchester United and Barcelona is a key player for Denmark, and if Denmark is to surprise this summer, it is vital that he is at his best.

His partnership with the wings Michael Krohn-Dehli and the fast Dennis Rommedahl (both playing in Danish club Brøndby) has been good during the qualification campaign and these three players are very important for Denmark’s transition play.

Rommedahl on the right is more important of the two as with his speed he has scored many goals and made even more assists for the strikers. The veteran is 33 year old and has played 113 caps yielding 21 goals.

In attack, Denmark has “ the problem baby” Nicklas Bendtner from Arsenal, who still hasn’t really broken through in the London club, but who is currently on a fairly successful loan spell in Sunderland.

Over the last years the striker has been just as much in the papers for his off pitch incidents than for the ones on the pitch. Some months ago Coach Morten Olsen did emphasize that Bendtner will get one more chance or he is out. Hotel fights and “unlucky” comments are the latest issues added to his biography.

That aside, Bendtner´s importance for Denmark is huge and unlike his club performance over the last years, he has played well in the national shirt and scored many important goals. There is no doubt that Coach Morten Olsen will give Bendtner a long leash.

Furthermore, Denmark doesn’t really have any alternatives to Bendtner. Roda captain Mads Junker is the best, but it will really be a blow for Denmark if they are to lose Bendtner.

Offensive conclusion

When Denmark plays at their best, they have a very good and very competitive offense, which can give any team problems, (Norway and Portugal felt that in the qualification campaign).

However, with few alternatives and a thin squad it doesn’t take much for the attacking wheel to blow up, and this leads directly over to Denmark’s biggest problem at the moment;  Few absences or even a couple of players not playing up to their absolute best, will really weaken Denmark more than any other team in this group.

It is therefore Vital that the key players Daniel Agger, William Kvist, Christian Eriksen and Nicklas Bendtner are fit and at their best…otherwise Denmark will not even get close to threaten Germany, Holland and Portugal.

Home crowd factor

The fact that all three group games are played in distant Ukraine doesn’t give any advantage for Denmark as the Danes will have less support than their world beater opponents there.

Betting value and odds

“Lets hope we get lucky in the tournament, because I don’t think we got lucky in the draw”, those are the words stated by coach Morten Olsen after the draw, and looking at this “group of death” one can understand his frustrations.

Even though Denmark has impressed and managed to beat Portugal in the last two qualification campaigns, Portugal are still a European heavyweight, and then add two of the hot favorites to win it all, Holland and Germany, and we have a dynamite group. Shouldn’t Denmark be just happy to play against the super stars?

Well maybe, but then again, we all know from the fairytale Euro 1992 story, which couldn’t have been written better even by the famous Danish author Hans Christian Andersen that the Danes just love to be in this situation – having all to win and with playing with no pressure at all.

Unlike the opponents in this group, Denmark can only surprise and even more importantly they can enter the game with the preferred transition tactic as the opponents for sure will commit a lot in the offense in order to get all three points against Denmark.

If Denmark then succeeds in setting up the fast wings they can really hurt any side with so much offensive focus.

So yes, looking at the winner odds given for Denmark I think they are being a bit underestimated by the bookies and one has to remember that if they manage somehow to qualify for the play offs, they will be up against an easier opponent in the first playoff game.

If this happens, ironically it might be better to sell the odds at that stage, because history (sorry for repeating myself) once again can prove that then Denmark simply might not be able to live up to the sudden occurred expectations. wishes to thank Jacob Nielsen for writing this fine article!

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