A weekend to reign supreme or experience broken dreams
It’s an interesting time to be a Danish sports fan right now as many of their countrymen will be competing in major sporting events around the world this weekend, but not all are expected to fare so well.
Danes on Skates
The puck drops for the Danish ice hockey team at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Belarus on Saturday. But let’s just hope their run isn’t cut too short.
Nobody in the ice hockey world fancies their chances in their first match – against the old enemy Sweden.
Sweden, who are currently ranked first in the world, are overwhelming favourites despite the Danes (#3) being able to call on NHL players Mikkel Bødker, Jannik Hansen, Nicklas Jensen and Philip Larsen.
With games against Canada (#3 in the world) and the Czech Republic (#5) coming up, Denmark will realistically need to beat the other four teams in the group – France, Slovakia, Italy and Norway – to qualify for the quarter-finals. Should they fail to do so, they will find themselves battling to avoid relegation from the elite, 16-team tournament.
Kevin the comeback kid?
Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday, Danish darling Kevin Magnussen is struggling and rated a 25/1 outsider to triumph.
His Formula One campaign has faltered of late, but this weekend sees F1 return to his native continent, which could result in a change of form for the McLaren driver.
After initially taking the F1 world by storm with his second place in Australia, he now sits 9th in the overall point standings after four races.
And the performance of his team-mate Jenson Button in the first practice session today, which saw him finish second, looks encouraging for a team that failed miserably in China where the drivers finished 11th and 13th – easily the worst performance of any team using the dominant Mercedes engine.
Two Danes onboard for Irish Italia
The year’s first grand tour, Giro d’Italia, starts today in Belfast and the nine Tinkoff-Saxo riders are predicted to ride to a top-5 finish.
Rafal Majka and Nicolas Roche, the two captains, are 50/1 and 80/1 to win respectively and they are backed by a solid team that includes the two Danes: Chris Anker Sørensen and Christopher Juul-Jensen. The first three stages of this year's edition will be in Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Agger's daggers at Rogers
Liverpool, the bookies' favourites to win the Premier League before their loss to Chelsea, only have a slim chance of taking the title this Sunday. While they must beat Newcastle United at home, they need Manchester City to lose at home to West Ham United.
Should they win, the Danish national captain Daniel Agger will pick up a winner's medal, although he looks unlikely to play and likely to leave Anfield over the summer after falling down the pecking order under Brendan Rogers.