The official website for European football

No fear for dark horses Denmark

Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 22.00CET
Few people may be backing Denmark to upset Group B rivals the Netherlands tomorrow, but Thomas Mark reckons Morten Olsen's charges need simply trust their own abilities.
by Thomas Mark
from Kolobrzeg
 
Published: Friday 8 June 2012, 22.00CET

No fear for dark horses Denmark

Few people may be backing Denmark to upset Group B rivals the Netherlands tomorrow, but Thomas Mark reckons Morten Olsen's charges need simply trust their own abilities.

It's been eight months since Denmark clinched first place in their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying group with a 2-1 win against Portugal. It was a match that gave Denmark fans everywhere hope. Although they may not have the highest-profile players, their team concept has remained the same for 12 years under Morten Olsen – and it seems to work.

But now a sterner test awaits. Denmark will face three of the world's top ten FIFA-ranked teams in Group B, starting with the Netherlands. But do they need to fear the Dutch? No. After all, Olsen's charges themselves lie ninth in the same table. Should they treat them with the utmost respect? Of course. Everyone knows what the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie are capable of doing.

©Getty Images

Dennis Rommedahl believes Denmark can prevail

Let's not forget that football is a team sport, however, and sometimes skill and star quality are just not enough. "They are human beings, just like us," said Danish winger Dennis Rommedahl. Some of his team-mates have also hinted that defence is the Oranje's weak spot. Inexperienced left-back Jetro Willems may well be picked to face Rommedahl, while centre-back Joris Mathijsen's hamstring injury could prevent him from taking his place in the starting lineup.

The game could be a terrific display of technical proficiency and fast, well-executed possession play. Given that it is also the first match in UEFA EURO 2012 Group B, though, both teams could be reluctant to open up. Olsen seemed to downplay his side's chances, meanwhile. "Everybody needs luck," he said. "Perhaps we just need a little more than the others."

Luck on its own almost certainly won't be enough, but if Denmark get a couple of breaks and maintain faith in their own ability, they could just stand a chance against the might of the Netherlands.

Last updated: 26/06/12 3.01CET

Related information

Player profiles
Member associations
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1804183.html#no+fear+dark+horses+denmark

UEFA.com features

Penalty shoot-outs: the long and the short of it
  • Penalty shoot-outs: the long and the short of it
  • Story so far: Real Madrid CF
  • Guingamp magic floors Paris
  • Fenerbahçe great Alex calls time on career
  • Gabbiadini inspires high-flying Sampdoria
  • UEFA Champions League round of 16 classics
  • UEFA Europa League stars and strikes
  • Deciding drama: The best of matchday six
  • UEFA Youth League group stage by numbers
  • Masterclass: Ivan Rakitić free-kick guide
1 of 10
 
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.