Jonas Knudsen has rejoined the Danish World Cup squad ahead of their clash with Australia today, which kicks off at 14:00 on TV2, after leaving over the weekend to attend the earlier-than-expected birth of his daughter.
Thanks to the generosity of his team-mates, Knudsen was able to catch a private plane to Denmark after his side’s 1-0 defeat of Peru on Saturday.
Unlike some of his team-mates, the Ipswich Town left back does not play for a top-flight club, so it’s unlikely he could have afforded the plane without the gesture.
Continuing without Kvist
Denmark will have to play the rest of its World Cup campaign without long-serving midfielder William Kvist.
A first-half challenge in which Peruvian striker Jefferson Farfan rose high to place his knee in the FCK player’s torso resulted in two broken ribs and a punctured lung. Kvist tried to play on, but had to call it a day shortly afterwards.
Lasse Schöne, who replaced him, looks likely to retain his place in the line-up against Australia in an otherwise unchanged starting 11.
Australia’s secret weapon?
Meanwhile, opponents Australia could hand a start to 19-year-old wonderkid Daniel Arzani, who failed to impress in his ten minutes against France, but recently scored his first international goal in a pre-tournament friendly.
A great ball carrier, Arzani has the potential to be a world star.
Odds to win slashed
Denmark’s odds to win the World Cup have been shaved down from 100/1 to 66/1, although 80/1 is still available at various bookmakers.
The shortening reflects the increasing likelihood that Denmark will make the knockout stage following their defeat of Peru, their main rival for the second spot behind France.
Denmark are generally even money to beat Australia today and 10/3 to top the group ahead of France.
Champions on grass, tipped for relegation on paper
Judged by its results on grass, the current Superliaga champs FC Midtjylland would appear to have had a successful decade, as not once has it failed to finish outside the top six. But on paper, it is a different story as it has failed to make a profit since 2008, making a collective loss of 189.2 million kroner in its last nine years. In contrast, Parken Sport & Entertainment, the owner of FC Copenhagen, could not be doing better. Last year, it made a 40 million kroner profit to top the Superliga rankings, and Silkeborg IF (14 million), AaB (12.8) and FC Nordsjælland (5.4) also had healthy results. Elsewhere, though, the clubs finished mostly in the red, with AGF (-9.2), Lyngby (-11.7), FCM (-14.0), OB (15.5) and Brøndby (-24.8 ) among those declaring sizeable losses. Overall, the clubs made a collective loss of 6 million kroner, down from a profit of 4 million in 2016.
Denmark’s top cyclist looking good for Tour de France
Bjarne Riis believes this could be Jakob Fuglsang’s best ever chance of winning the Tour de France following the Astana captain’s second-placed finish in the nine-stage Tour de Suisse over the weekend. Riis is well known as being an excellent judge of a cyclist’s optimum weight, and he clearly believes Fuglsang, who is currently preferred as captain over an out-of-form Fabio Aru, is in peak condition approaching the July 7 start of the tour. “A few months ago, he was carrying a few kilos too much,” he told TV2. “But now I can see it is another Jakob – a ‘Tour de France Jakob’.”
Wozniacki warming up ahead of Wimbledon
Ahead of the Wimbledon draw next week, Caroline Wozniacki, who has not been in action since her fourth round exit at the French Open earlier this month, has had another dig at Maria Sharapova, reiterating her belief that players returning from drug bans should not be given multiple wildcards at tournaments where their diminished seeding is not good enough to enable them to qualify. “’We should show young players if you choose that path, it has consequences. I’m very passionate about drug use because I’ve spent so many years fighting fair,” she told ESPN. “I got drug-tested this morning, actually. At 6 AM!”