Denmark has the talent and discipline to upset the apple cart at the World Cup, but the draw beyond the group stage didn't do the Danes many favors. 

By 90Min
June 01, 2018

Competing once again at the World Cup after an absence from the 2014 tournament in Brazil, Denmark has what it takes to leave a lasting impression at the 2018 event in Russia.

The squad has some serious talent within its ranks and a stable manager in Age Hareide, who has been at the helm since 2015. While the Danes aren't among the favorites to win the tournament, they shouldn't be dismissed as pushovers, either.

The chances of the Scandinavians making waves deep into the tournament remain slim, but they're certainly a team you'd want to avoid playing too early in the tournament. Is a quarterfinal a possibility, or will they fall at the first hurdle? Here's a closer look at Denmark entering the World Cup.

How They Qualified

Denmark's qualification run, though not unimpressive, wasn't good enough to top Group E, with Poland taking the top spot and automatic qualification.

A surprising 1-0 loss at home to Montenegro and a failure to beat Romania both home and away meant that Denmark finished five points behind the Poles, despite beating them 4-0 in one of their two meetings.

So it was the playoff route for the Danish and a meeting with a Republic of Ireland side who, after a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen, many fancied to progress to their first World Cup since 2002. 

Denmark's star man Christian Eriksen had other ideas though, scoring an emphatic hat trick in Dublin to help his team to a 5-1 mauling, securing his nation's position at the World Cup this summer.

Group Stage

Despite being grouped with France in Group C, the draw was relatively kind to Denmark, with Australia and Peru taking up the other two places in the group. 

Peru (June 16 in Mordovia) and Australia (June 21 in Samara) will also be Denmark's first two games in the group stage, meaning the final game against France (June 26 in Moscow) may have little riding on it should the Danes do what's expected of them and win their first two. 

However, if they stumble in either of their first two fixtures, they'll be left in the unenviable position of needing a result from their final match against France. Expect them to come out all guns blazing against both Australia and Peru as they look to progress to the knockout stage.

Route to the Final

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If Denmark can meet expectations and finish second in Group C, it will face the winner of Group D, which could well be Argentina. 

Although highly unlikely, if the Danes were to hypothetically beat Lionel Messi & Co., they could find themselves in a quarterfinal match up with Spain, and beyond that possibly Germany and then fellow group stage competitor, France or even Brazil. That road is grim, and not something anyone would expect Denmark to manage.

A possible route to the final becomes a lot more interesting if the Danes were to win Group C though, and it's not out of the question. 

They'd potentially face the likes of Croatia in the last 16 and possibly an aging Portugal side in the final eight, before inevitably coming up against one of the big boys in the semifinals.


Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby)

Defenders: Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich)

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen)

Forwards: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)

Predicted Lineup

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(4-2-3-1): Kasper Schmeichel; Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer, Mathis Jorgensen, Jens Stryger; William Kvist, Thomas Delaney; Yussuf Poulsen, Christan Eriksen, Pione Sisto; Nicolai Jorgensen.


AFP Contributor/GettyImages

This is an incredibly talented Denmark squad, especially going forward. 

There are stars and future stars scattered throughout the lineup in the shape of Andreas Christensen, Thomas Delaney, Pione Sisto, Nicolai Jorgensen and of course Eriksen. 

This side should be very fun to watch and should have no problem progressing to the last 16 as runners up in Group C, or even challenging France for top spot.

Its undoing may eventually come at the hands of Argentina in the second round though, making Denmark an unfortunate victim of the luck of the draw.

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