If the Danish football team want to have any hope of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, they need to start scraping together some points and fast. And it all starts away in Romania on Sunday.
The Danes will be in for a real challenge playing in a hostile setting in Cluj (the match has been moved there from Bucharest due to crowd trouble) against a Romanian side equally desperate for points.
A loss will be catastrophic for the Danes.
Six from four
Denmark has managed to only accumulate six points from their first four games. They currently sit third in Group E, four points behind Poland and one behind Montenegro, who shocked the Danes at the Telia Parken stadium in October.
Romania are just a point adrift of Denmark and were easily beaten 0-3 at home by the Poles in November, so the Danes will be hoping for the Romanians to continue their poor home form.
Thin up front
But the Danes have their own problems, particularly up front, with young starlet Kasper Dolberg having to pull out due to injury and illness, and Dutch Eredivisie top scorer Nicolai Jørgensen doubtful due to injury.
Furthermore, several high-profile players, including English Premier League stars Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Viktor Fischer, have been omitted from the squad due to a lacking of playing time with their respective clubs, while Yussuf Poulsen is out injured.
The good news is that midfield dynamo Thomas Delaney has overcome a concussion, and that a number of other key players – such as Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen, Christian Eriksen and Riza Durmisi – have been performing well for their clubs recently.
The match kicks off at 20:45 and will be shown on Kanal 5. Let’s hope for a repeat of the Euro 2004 qualifier from 2003 (see video below).
Going down in Murcia
In related news, the Danish Under-21 team lost for the first time since 2015 last night, falling 1-3 to Spain in a friendly in Murcia.
The Danes went ahead early on through Andrew Hjulsager, but Spain equalised shortly afterwards and scored two in the second half to take the spoils.
Denmark, who are warming up for Euro 2017 in Poland this summer, face England in Randers on Monday night at 19:00. That match will be shown on 6eren.