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Portugal and Denmark all set for last-day drama

Published: Monday 3 October 2011, 16.00CET
Portugal and Denmark are locked on 13 points at the head of Group H and must respectively defeat Iceland and Cyprus in order to set up a winner-takes-all game in Copenhagen.
Portugal and Denmark all set for last-day drama
Portugal beat Denmark 3-1 last October ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 3 October 2011, 16.00CET

Portugal and Denmark all set for last-day drama

Portugal and Denmark are locked on 13 points at the head of Group H and must respectively defeat Iceland and Cyprus in order to set up a winner-takes-all game in Copenhagen.

Level at the top of Group H on 13 points, Denmark's tie with Portugal in Copenhagen on 11 October looks destined to decide who will qualify automatically for UEFA EURO 2012. Portugal beat the Danes 3-1 in Porto a year ago, but both must be successful on 7 October to set up the winner takes all clash; Denmark travelling to Cyprus and Portugal hosting Iceland. Norway have an outside chance of gaining second spot, but will need a handsome victory at home to Cyprus in their final game to keep themselves in the hunt.

7 October: Cyprus v Denmark, Portugal v Iceland

11 October: Denmark v Portugal, Norway v Cyprus

Latest standings

Portugal (13 points)
Defender Henrique Sereno, of 1. FC Köln, receives international recognition for the first time, while there are six further additons to Paulo Bento's squad as Ricardo Costa, Carlos Martins, Ruben Amorim, Ricardo Quaresma and veteran Nuno Gomes return. Real Madrid duo Pepe and Fábio Coentrão miss out through injury, as does Beşiktaş JK striker Hugo Almeida. "We must not fail and we have to win," said Bento. "We have to maintain the same ambition to reach EURO 2012."

Goalkeepers: Eduardo (SL Benfica), Beto (CFR 1907 Cluj), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal).

Defenders: Bruno Alves (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Eliseu (Málaga CF), Henrique Sereno (1. FC Köln), João Pereira (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Ricardo Costa (Valencia CF), Rolando (FC Porto), Sílvio (Club Atlético de Madrid).

Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Granada CF), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), Paulo Machado (Toulouse FC), Raul Meireles (Chelsea FC), Ruben Amorim (SL Benfica), Ruben Micael (Real Zaragoza).

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Danny (FC Zenit St Petersburg)*, Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United FC), Nuno Gomes (SC Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto)**, Tarik Elyounoussi (Fredrikstad FK)**.

**Called up

Denmark (13 pts)
Morten Olsen has called up FC Nordsjælland centre-back Andreas Bjelland, the captain of Denmark's team at this summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship, while another young defender, Jesper Juelsgaard of FC Midtjylland, could also win his first cap.

"If he plays, someone will go down there and watch him and based on that we will decide if he is ready," said Olsen. With defenders Daniel Agger and Mathias Jørgensen ruled out by injury, Bjelland is relishing the opportunity of adding to his sole cap, won last November. "I'm really proud to have been called up, especially for two such important games," said the Nordsjælland defender. "I'm going to show the coach I deserve to play."

Goalkeepers: Thomas Sørensen (Stoke City FC), Anders Lindegaard FC (Manchester United FC), Stephan Andersen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC).

Defenders: Bo Svensson (1. FSV Mainz 05), Andreas Bjelland (FC Nordsjælland), Lars Jacobsen (FC København), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Jesper Juelsgaard (FC Midtjyland), Simon Kjær (AS Roma).

Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (AFC Ajax), Jakob Poulsen (FC Midtjylland), Lasse Schøne (NEC Nijmegen), Martin Jørgensen (AGF Århus), Michael Silberbauer (BSC Young Boys), Niki Zimling (Club Brügge KV), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart), Christian Poulsen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC).

Forwards: Dennis Rommedahl (Brøndby IF), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brøndby IF), Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland AFC), Nicolai Jørgensen (Bayer 04 Leverkusen).

Norway (13 pts)
Sogndal IL Fotball defender Even Hovland is the only new face in Egil Olsen's squad for their final qualifier against Cyprus in Oslo which Norway must win to keep their slim hopes of making the top two alive. John Arne Riise and John Carew got the goals in a 2-1 victory in Larnaca and both are among the 18 names, but captain Brede Hangeland is suspended. "This is quite a conservative squad apart from the one surprise, but I felt Even deserved a call up after his displays for Sogndal," said Olsen. "We can but try our best."

Goalkeepers: Rune Jarstein (Viking FK), Espen Bugge Pettersen (Molde FK).

Defenders: Vadim Demidov (Real Sociedad de Fútbol), Even Hovland (Sogndal IL Fotball), Tom Høgli (Club Brugge KV), Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace FC), John Arne Riise (Fulham FC), Espen Ruud (Odense BK), Kjetil Wæhler (Aalborg BK).

Midfielders: Simen Brenne (Odd Grenland), Christian Grindheim (FC København), Henning Hauger (Hannover 96)*, Ruben Yttergård Jenssen (Tromsø IL), Morten Gamst Pedersen (Blackburn Rovers FC), Alexander Tettey (Stade Rennais FC).

Forwards: Mohammed Abdellaoue (Hannover 96)*, John Carew (West Ham United FC), Erik Huseklepp (Portsmouth FC).


Iceland (4 pts)
Ólafur Jóhannesson goes into his last game as Iceland coach, before his four-year contract expires, without experienced defender Hermann Hreidarsson who is sidelined through injury. Queens Park Rangers FC forward Heidar Helguson also misses out along with Vålerenga Fotball's Veigar Gunnarsson.

Goalkeepers: Gunnleifur Gunnleifsson (FH Hafnarfjördur), Stefán Magnússon (Lillestrøm SK), Hannes Thór Halldórsson (KR Reykjavík).

Defenders: Indridi Sigurdsson (Viking FK), Kristján Sigurdsson (Hønefoss BK), Birkir Saevarsson (SK Brann), Sölvi Ottesen (FC København), Arnór Adalsteinsson (Hønefoss BK), Hjörtur Valgardsson (IFK Göteborg), Hallgrímur Jónasson (SønderjyskE).

Midfielders: Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City FC), Helgi Daníelsson (AIK Solna), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (AZ Alkmaar), Eggert Jónsson (Heart of Midlothian FC), Rúrik Gíslason (Odense BK), Birkir Bjarnason (Viking FK), Gylfi Sigurdsson (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Matthías Vilhjálmsson (FH Hafnarfjördur).

Forwards: Eidur Gudjohnsen (AEK Athens FC), Kolbeinn Sigthórsson (AFC Ajax), Alfred Finnbogason (KSC Lokeren OV).

Cyprus (2 pts)
SS Barletta Calcio defender Georgios Pelagias's call-up makes him the only player in Nikos Nioplias's squad to be plying his trade outside of Cyprus. Another new face to have been given the nod by Nioplias is Apollon Limassol FC midfielder Andreas Stavrou, while Elias Charalambous has been recalled.

Goalkeepers: Tasos Kissas (APOEL FC), Antonis Giorgallides (AC Omonia).

Defenders: Stelios Parpas (AEL Limassol FC), Angelis Charalambous (Ermis Aradippou FC)**, Elias Charalambous (Alki Larnaca FC), Savvas Poursaitides (APOEL FC), Georgos Merkis (Apollon Limassol FC), Georgios Pelagias (SS Barletta Calcio), Andreas Avraam (AC Omonia).

Midfielders: Jason Demetriou (AEK Larnaca FC), Marios Nikolaou (AEL Limassol FC), Sinisa Dobrasinovic (Alki Larnaca FC), Constantinos Makridis (AC Omonia)¹, Marinos Satsias (APOEL FC), Constantinos Charalambides (APOEL FC), Athos Solomou (APOEL FC), Andreas Stavrou (Apollon Limassol FC), George Efrem (AC Omonia).

Forwards: Kyriakos Pavlou (AEK Larnaca FC), Yiannis Okkas (Anorthosis Famagusta FC), Michalis Konstantinou (Anorthosis Famagusta FC), Nektarios Alexandrou (APOEL FC), Dimitris Christofi (AC Omonia).

**Called up
¹Norway game only

Last updated: 06/10/11 19.36CET

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