Euro 2012 Social Match Preview: Denmark vs Portugal
Still riding on the crest of a wave after their shock 1-0 success over the Netherlands, Denmark will look to claim a spot in the quarter-finals when they face a Portugal side who are still licking their wounds following their opening game defeat to Germany.
The two sides meet in the Arena Lviv on Wednesday night (5pm kick-off) and Paulo Bento’s men know they must pick up all three points if they are to stay in the European Championships but will be up against a resilient Danish outfit in this Group B encounter.
On Twitter, LoveFooty highlighted just how important the game is for the Portuguese: “Miguel Veloso admitted #Portugal cannot even afford to think about losing to #Denmark if they are to have any hope of #Euro2012 success.”
Portugal have the better of the head-to-head record between the two nations as from 12 matches, they have recorded seven wins compared to Denmark’s three victories.
Incidentally, these two teams met in the qualifying campaign for this tournament with Denmark qualifying as group winners whilst Portugal got through the play-
off round. Both teams won their respective home matches in qualification with the Danes winning 2-1 in Copenhagen and the Portuguese running out 3-1 winners in Leiria.
Unsurprisingly, Danish head coach Morten Olsen looks set to name the same team that shut out the Netherlands on Saturday and Portugal will need to be wary of the dangerous Michael Krohn-Dehli who impressed against the Dutch and grabbed the match-winning goal.
Bento is expected to name an identical starting line-up to the one that was beaten by the Germans in Lviv on Saturday but Nelson Oliveira, who appeared from the bench in that game, will be hoping he has done enough to push Helder Postiga out of the side and gain a starting berth.
Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, who will need to produce a performance in Lviv, tweeted photos of the side building up to the game against Denmark: “Training session photos preparing the #Portugal vs #Denmark#Euro2012 http://say.ly/eOQ3w68”
Tom Kundert, a journalist for Portuguese football, tweeted a quote from Denmark frontman Nicklas Bendtner looking ahead to the clash: “Portugal may have better players but which is the greater side we will have to wait and see. #Euro2012”
That particular quote is certainly more relevant for Denmark now after they held a star-studded Netherlands side at bay and will look to stop Ronaldo and co in their second game whilst securing qualification at the same time.
Group B, nicknamed the Group of Death, appears to have caught the eye of the British public after Gary Lineker tweeted: “We really love our football. GREAT ratings! Over 7 million watched Holland/Denmark and 9 million for Germany/Portugal #BBCSport #Euro2012” The broadcaster will be hoping that viewers continue to tune in for the remaining group matches.
What’s for sure is that with Portugal fighting for their lives and Denmark seeking to seal qualification, this clash in Lviv between the two supposedly weaker sides in the Group of Death is bound to be a game full of strength and determination.