With three tough tests ahead to escape Euro 2012’s so-called ‘Group of Death’, Denmark boss Morten Olsen would have wanted to have a full-strength squad in place.
Unfortunately for Olsen, he will be without one of his most experienced players as he was “forced” to leave out 100-cap goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen after he aggravated a back injury in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat by Brazil.
After naming Leicester City’s uncapped Kasper Schmeichel as Sorensen’s replacement, Olsen said he could not afford to pick an injured goalkeeper with games against Holland, Germany and Portugal awaiting the Danes in Group B.
Olsen will hope the inclusion of a keeper named Schmeichel will help invoke the spirit of Euro ’92, when the Danes ‘came off the beach’ and with the help of Peter Schmeichel in goal, won the whole tournament – a feat they are 80/1 to replicate.
Nonetheless, Stoke keeper Sorensen’s absence will hurt Denmark’s chances of keeping a clean sheet against Holland at 4/1, but they kept five clean sheets and conceded just six goals in eight qualifiers.
Denmark’s defence remains filled with quality, with Manchester United keeper Anders Lindegaard likely to deputise for Sorensen ahead of a back four containing Liverpool’s Daniel Agger and Roma’s Simon Kjaer.
Olsen also ensured there was back-up by adding 19-year-old central defender Jores Okore from new Danish champions FC Nordsjaelland to his original provisional 20-man squad named on May 16.
Also included in the final selection was Groningen striker Niclas Pedersen, who will provide much needed back-up to Nicklas Bendtner, on whom Denmark’s scoring hopes remain as the only senior out-and-out striker and the ‘King of Confidence’ is 80/1 for the Golden Boot.
Denmark squad for Euro 2012:
Goalkeepers: Stephan Andersen (Evian), Anders Lindegaard (Manchester United), Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City)
Defenders: Lars Jacobsen (FC Copenhagen), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Simon Kjaer (AS Roma), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart), Daniel Agger (Liverpool), Andreas Bjelland (FC Nordsjaelland), Jores Okore (FC Nordsjaelland),
Daniel Wass (Evian)
Midfielders: Christian Poulsen (Evian), Niki Zimling (Club Bruges), Jakob Poulsen (Midtjylland), Lasse Schone (NEC Nijmegen), Tobias Mikkelsen (FC Nordsjaelland), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brondby), Thomas Kahlenberg (Evian), Michael Silberbauer (Young Boys), Christian Eriksen (Ajax)
Forwards: Niclas Pedersen (FC Groningen), Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal), Dennis Rommedahl (Brondby)
New customers can register here to claim a free £25 bet or click here to see all our Euro 2012 odds.
Follow us on Twitter @bwinbetting