Dennis Rommedahl will miss Denmark's decisive final Group B encounter with Germany on Sunday and Niki Zimling is a doubt after the pair sustained muscle injuries against Portugal.
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Winger Dennis Rommedahl will miss Denmark's final Group B game with Germany and midfielder Niki Zimling is a doubt after the pair suffered muscle injures in Wednesday night's defeat by Portugal.
Rommedahl limped off the Arena Lviv pitch after 60 minutes, joining Zimling on the sidelines where the Club Brugge KV man had been since being forced off just 16 minutes in. Though Zimling may recover in time to play against the Group B leaders in Lviv on Sunday, Rommedahl will not.
"It's a question of time as they're muscle injuries, but it seems like Dennis Rommedahl is out of the game against Germany. We can focus on him again if we get through," Denmark coach Morten Olsen told UEFA.com. "With Niki Zimling the chances are better, but we probably won't know about him up until the minutes before kick-off."
Zimling himself said on Thursday that "things are a lot better today", and added that he hoped he would be able to contribute to helping the squad get the victory they need to secure progress to the knockout stages. "If not," he grinned, "I'll just have to cheer for the guys to beat Germany so I can play in the quarter-finals."
Victory against Germany, who have won both their games to date, will take Denmark through, but even a draw would be enough if the Netherlands beat Portugal in the other group game, played simultaneously in Kharkiv.
"We are left with the number of points we had hoped for after the first two matches. The scenario of our dreams would be to have one more point. That could have been the case, but you don't always have it your way in football," acknowledged Olsen, whose team came back from 2-0 down against Portugal only to fall foul of Silvestre Varela's late winner. "Perhaps we had the luck in our first match while we were unlucky not to gain a point in this one."
Nicklas Bendtner was the man who almost gave Denmark the point they needed, pegging back the Portuguese with two goals. "It's nice to know that we still stand a chance in this tournament," said the Arsenal FC forward. "We will have to do everything we can to get a good result against Germany. We are still in it. If we win against Germany, we are through. If we draw, other things must go our way. If we lose, we are out."
After surprising the Dutch and then almost upstaging Portugal, Bendtner says Olsen's men have lost the element of surprise, and must adopt a different approach to facing Germany. "Germany have proven themselves worthy as favourites for the tournament. They've started off with two wins against really strong teams," said the 24-year-old. "When we came into the tournament, we were underdogs. That's not a role we can lay claim to now. We have to step up and prove ourselves."