Denmark has found success in the last two major international tournaments, which has helped them move up the rankings. As of June 2022, Denmark is ranked at 10 by FIFA, and in Group D, the second highest-ranked team, six spots behind France and in front of Tunisia and Australia by a large margin. Here are five reasons why Denmark can make it to the Round of 16.
Denmark has found itself in a great position ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. FIFA has been flirting with them as a constant top 10 teams in the world since 2021, and they have been proven worthy of that. In the UEFA Nations League, they sit at the top of their group, which features some of the best teams in the world in Croatia and France, with a solid Austrian team. Croatia and France meet in the 2018 World Cup Final, and Demark leads that group with nine points on a three-goal difference. The team also was one of the surprise teams in the 2020 EUROs, making it to the semi-finals despite not having their star player due to an unforeseen injury.
Including Demark’s impressive run of form through the recent international tournaments, their qualification into the world cup soccer 2022 was one of the best. In the group stages, they were tied for the most total points out of every team in qualification, with 27. They ended the campaign with a 9W-0D-1L, scoring 30 goals and only allowing three. With a goal difference of 27, the only other teams that performed better than them were Germany and England, two of the elite European soccer nations. Their only loss came on the final day of qualification against Iceland, Denmark had already secured an automatic spot, and Iceland was bound for the playoffs.
Christian Eriksen has been one of the most impactful players for Denmark, and when he had a cardiac arrest during the first game of the 2020 EUROs, it seemed like Denmark’s run was over. Eriksen comes in fourth for most caps for Denmark with 115 and tied for the fifth-most goals with 38. When he collapsed against Finland in the EUROs, it was one of scariest sights to happen on a soccer pitch. Eriksen made a full recovery and signed with Brentfond in the Premier League on a six-month deal. He played 11 games, scoring one goal and adding four assists. He has yet to sign with a team for next season but is the clear leader of this Denmark team. Eriksen returned to the field for the national team in a friendly against the Netherlands coming off the bench.
A Solid Overall Team
When Eriksen went down, the team was still able to find success, all the way to the semi-finals, losing in extra-time to England. Erikson the clear leader and front runner, but attackers such as Martin Braithwaite, Yusuf Poulsen, and Andreas Skov Olsen showed they still had the skill and talent to help him. The midfield is also solidified by veterans Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who have played for some of the best clubs in Europe. The defense is also led by Champions League winner Andreas Christensen, who has been the anchor of the team’s backline.
An Easy Road, Plus Experience Against France
In Group D, France is the obvious choice to make it out of the group, but unless Tunisia and Australia can shock the world, Denmark is the other favorite. Tunisia is ranked 30th by FIFA while Australia is 39, which on paper should be easy games for Denmark. In the 2018 World Cup odds, Denmark was in a group with Australia and France, drawing with both teams. In the UEFA Nations League, Denmark is also in a group with France, and in their first matchup, they beat them 2-1. Denmark has a chance against France, due to the way the team is playing now along with recent experience against them.