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Denmark out to topple strong Group 5 rivals

Published: Tuesday 22 May 2012, 12.53CET
Greece and Turkey have plenty of pedigree at this level but section hosts Denmark are confident of coming out on top while Cyprus remained unbeaten in the qualifying round.
Denmark out to topple strong Group 5 rivals
Greece had plenty to celebrate in the qualifying round ©InTime
Published: Tuesday 22 May 2012, 12.53CET

Denmark out to topple strong Group 5 rivals

Greece and Turkey have plenty of pedigree at this level but section hosts Denmark are confident of coming out on top while Cyprus remained unbeaten in the qualifying round.

GREECE
Having gone through the qualifying round unbeaten, Greece are bidding for a second successive finals boosted by a number of their team gaining playing time in the top flight at their clubs this season. In March, Greece won a four-team tournament in Doha thanks to victories against China (1-0) and Qatar (2-0), and a 2-2 draw with the United Arab Emirates. Even a 4-2 loss to Slovenia in their last friendly had its positives, according to coach Panagiotis Tsanas: "It was our first defeat in a long time and it will help us improve on our weak points. We will be ready for the group in Denmark."

Key players
Stefanos Kapino (goalkeeper, Panathinaikos FC), Kostas Stafylidis (defender, PAOK FC), Mavroudis Bougaidis (defender, AEK Athens FC), Charis Mavrias (midfielder, Panathinaikos FC), Dimitris Diamantakos (forward, Olympiacos FC)

Qualifying round
Andorra 10-0, Armenia 2-1, Slovakia 1-1 (first in Group 10)

DENMARK
Denmark have prepared with three two-day training camps and three friendlies. Two trips to Ukraine brought a 5-1 win and a goalless draw, while a visit to Montenegro finished 2-2. "I have a lot of confidence in these lads," said coach Per Andersen. "Never before have I had a U19 squad with so many players who are already acquainted with the Superliga or the first division. The draw has been OK, but we will still have to get our tactics right, work hard and be humble in order to take the last step."

Key players
Uffe Manich Bech (forward, Lyngby BK), Lucas Andersen (midfielder, Aalborg BK), Nicolai Brock-Madsen (forward, Randers FC), Kasper Larsen (defender, Odense BK), Patrick Jensen (defender, Vejle BK)

Qualifying round
Albania 1-0, Malta 4-0, Austria 0-0 (first in Group 12)

TURKEY
New coach Feyyaz Uçar took charge late last year and started his reign with a win and a draw against the Republic of Ireland. A 2-0 defeat in Italy in March preceded last month's victory in the Croatia Cup, Turkey recovering from a 3-0 opening loss to the hosts to defeat Croatia and Slovakia to lift the trophy. Ahead of the elite round, coach Uçar said: "We had a five-day preparation camp in Germany and moved to Denmark two days before the qualifiers. Denmark are a good, strong outfit who will really test us. We're certainly aiming for first place; I hope we can manage that and get to the finals."

Key players
Salih Uçan (midfielder, Bucaspor), Hakan Çalhanoğlu (midfielder, Karlsruher SC), Enver Cenk Şahin (forward, İstanbul BB SK)

Qualifying round
Luxembourg 3-0, Georgia 1-1, Poland 2-2 (second in Group 9)

CYPRUS
A 2-0 win against Latvia, thanks to second-half strikes from Nikos Englezou and Zacharias Theodorou, took Apostolos Makrides' side into the elite round after draws on home soil against Norway and Iceland, although the coach believes coaching Cyprus at U19 level presents a unique challenge. "It's a tough job to coach a national team at this level because most of the players are in the middle of their national service," Makrides told UEFA.com. "Qualifying for the elite round only magnifies the achievement, although we know we have a very tough round of games coming up now."

Key players
Pieros Sotiriou (forward, Olympiakos Nicosia FC), Nikos Englezou (midfielder, AEK Athens FC), Kostakis Artymatas (midfielder, Nottingham Forest FC), Zacharias Theodorou (midfielder, Anorthosis Famagusta FC)

Qualifying round
Norway 3-3, Iceland 1-1, Latvia 2-0 (second in Group 4)

Last updated: 22/05/12 14.24CET

http://www.uefa.com/under19/news/newsid=1795152.html#denmark+topple+strong+group+rivals

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