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    Euro 2012 preview: Denmark hold potential to upset big teams

    After failing to qualify in 2008, Denmark will be out to make the most out of it when the tournament kicks off on June 8.

    Denmark are not novices when it comes to the Euros, and have some quality players in their ranks that leaves them in contention for the title. The Danes prefer a 4-3-3 formation and they play well with a lone striker in Nicklas Bendtner, supported by the talented midfielder Christian Eriksen. In 1992 Denmark clinched a shock victory over Germany to lift the European Championship, but after that they have only managed to reach the quarter-finals once (Euro 2004).

    After failing to qualify in 2008, Denmark will be out to make the most out of it when the tournament kicks off on June 8. Under manager Morten Olsen, the team had a great run during the qualifiers, which included six wins, one loss and a draw. Christian Eriksen was the youngest player in the 2010 World Cup and in the Euro he will be a peripheral figure for Denmark. The Ajax player has proved his credentials to establish himself as a first choice for his country and club. Before joining Ajax, Eriksen had two trials with Chelsea and was rejected by the Premier League club.

    Denmark are pretty orthodox in their approach and like to keep things simple, which could go against them in this Euros. Bendtner would be their lone striker up-front and the defence would be taken care of by Daniel Agger and Simon Kjaer. However, the Danes are pitched in a tough Group B comprising of Netherlands, Germany and Portugal, but Denmark have a history of showing determination at big tournaments.

    They have all the firepower to upset the big boys in their group and advance further in the Euros. But for that their key players have to perform and they need to bring their tactics into play.

    Denmark squad:

    Goalkeepers: Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United), Stephan Andersen (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)

    Defenders: Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Simon Kjaer (AS Roma), Lars Jacobsen (FC Copenhagen), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Andreas Bjelland (FC Nordsjaelland), Daniel Wass (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Jores Okore (FC Nordsjaelland)

    Midfielders: William Kvist (Stuttgart), Christian Poulsen (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Michael Silberbauer (Young Boys), Niki Zimling (Club Brugge), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian Thonon Gaillard), Lasse Schone (Nijmegen), Jakob Poulsen (FC Midtjylland)

    Forwards: Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby IF), Christian Eriksen (Ajax), Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby), Nicklas Bendtner(Arsenal/Sunderland), Nicklas Pedersen (FC Groningen), Tobias Mikkelsen (FC Nordsjaelland)

    Recent Euro performances:

    2008 - Did not qualify

    2004 – Eliminated in quarter-finals

    2000 – Eliminated in group stage

    1996 – Eliminated in group stage

    Keep an eye on: Nicklas Bendtner, Daniel Agger, Christain Eriksen

    Prediction: Denmark have a strong chance of making into the quarter-finals, provided they play to their potential and more importantly, the key players raise their game.


    June 9, 2012: Denmark vs Netherlands, Kharkiv

    June 13, 2012: Denmark vs Portugal, Lviv

    June 17, 2012: Denmark vs Germany, Lviv