Aussies beware: Denmark’s danger man holds the key
THEY are ranked 12th in the world and rely heavily on one man, Tottenham's Christian Eriksen. Find out all about Australia's Group C opponents Denmark here.
Game 1 v Peru Sunday June 17 2AM AEST
Game 2 v Australia Thursday June 21 10PM AEST
Game 3 v France Wednesday June 27 12AM AEST
Nickname: The Red-White
World Cup appearances:
1986, 1998, 2002, 2010, 2018.
Best performance: Quarterfinals 1998
How they qualified: Came second to Poland in their group and demolished Ireland 5-1 in their playoff.
World ranking: 12th
2007: Australia 1 Denmark 3 Friendly
2010: Australia 1 Denmark 0 Friendly
2012: Denmark 2 Australia 0 Friendly
Formation: 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1
(Final squad of 23 players yet to be named)
Goalkeepers: Jesper Hansen (FC Midtjylland) Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town) Frederik Ronow (Brondby) Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City).
Defenders: Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen) Andreas Bjelland (Brentford) Nicolai Boilesen (FC Copenhagen) Andreas Christensen (Chelsea) Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford) Riza Durmisi (Real Betis) Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield Town) Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich) Jens Stryger (Udinese) Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Moenchengladbach).
Midfielders: Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen) Christian Eriksen (Tottenham) Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton) Mathias Jensen (FC Nordsjaelland) Mike Jensen (Rosenborg) Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna) William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Robert Skov (FC Copenhagen) Daniel Wass (Celta Vigo),
Forwards: Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg)Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux)Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta)Kasper Dolberg (Ajax) Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen) Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord) Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig) Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff).
WHILE France has a rich array of talent on which to draw, Denmark's focus centres on one man - Christian Eriksen.
The diminutive star pulls the strings in midfield for Tottenham and Denmark, sets up and scores goals and possesses a mean free kick.
Eriksen needs little space to work in and is not afraid to hit them from anywhere around the box, meaning the Socceroos will have to be super-vigilant when he is on the ball.
It was Eriksen who assured Denmark's place at a fifth World Cup with a classy hat-trick in a 5-1 demolition of Ireland in the second leg of their World Cup playoff after the Danes finished second in UEFA Group E behind Poland.
During qualifying Eriksen scored 11 of the Danes' 20 goals.
The rest of the squad are hardly household names but the team is more than the sum of its parts and have strung together a series of impressive results that have them ranked 12th in the world.
In Pione Sisto they have a quick and skilful left-sided midfielder who loves to take players on before playing in his forwards.
Upfront, former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner seems to have been around forever but is still only 30.
Three members of the squad play in the Premier League, with five still operating out of Denmark, two in Norway, one in Sweden and the rest in Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain and England's Championship.
Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy will know all about his Huddersfield teammate, defender Matthias Jorgensen (nicknamed Sanka after a character in the movie Cool Runnings), and reserve goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, who has been strong between the sticks for Terriers this season.
No.1 goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, son of the legendary Manchester United keeper Peter, won the Premier League two seasons ago with Leicester City.
Central defender Andreas Christensen played 40 games in all competitions for Chelsea this past season.
Fascinatingly, every one of Denmark's 27 World Cup goals have come from inside the penalty box.
The appointment of veteran Norwegian Aage Hareide coach raised eyebrows in Denmark and a slow start to his tenure meant plenty remained sceptical. But the team gained momentum to earn its World Cup place and now Hareide enjoys strong support from Danish fans.