Don’t you just hate it when the media jinxes the national football team with their over-confidence?
But hey, we’re not superstitious, and besides, we know an Austrian minion has probably been tasked with finding jingoistic pieces predicting an easy win for the Red and Whites, so they can be spread around the dressing room to get the home side fired up.
So we thought we’d save them with the need to use Google Translate and lay it down here at cphpost.dk why the Danes are going to win tonight.
No repeat of Eurovision 2014
Should Denmark win tonight, it will mark the first time they have even won their opening three major tournament qualifiers, so perhaps fate is against them, particularly as beating Austria would make their away game in Scotland the only remaining fixture they would not be absolute favourites to win.
However, we’ve found plenty of room for optimism to suggest Denmark are on a roll.
So sorry Austria, but there will be no repeat performance of Conchita Wurst playing Denmark and waltzing off with the glory.
1/ For Austria to beat Denmark, they will have to find a way past Kasper Schmeichel, 34, and only a select few have managed that in recent times. He has kept seven clean sheets in his last nine internationals, including a run of five in a row. England, in the Nations League last autumn, failed to find the net in three hours against him! In his column for Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Christian Fuchs, his Austrian team-mate in Leicester City’s miraculous English Premier League 2016 triumph, regards Schmeichel as the “biggest challenge” facing his homeland. “One on one, he’s a mastodon,” he added.
2/ Jens Stryger Larsen, an expected starter, has never lost a game for Denmark. The 30-year-old Udinese defender has put on the national shirt 32 times, picking up 19 wins, 13 draws and absolutely no losses. He could retire before kickoff and write his name into the record books, but he hopes to continue the record against Austria and then at Euro 2020 this summer. “It’s true that I have not lost yet, and it is a completely crazy statistic to have. I’m happy to have it, and I would like it to continue a little longer,” he told bold.dk.
3/ Even Austria’s national team captain David Alaba is quaking in his boots. At the pre-game press conference he conceded that Denmark’s recent record, which saw it excel in last autumn’s Nations League before scoring ten unanswered goals in their opening two qualifying matches, is “impressive” to say the least. “Denmark have players with very special individual quality, but it is first and foremost their collective that is strong,” he said. “So we can expect tough opposition, and I think it will be a close and exciting match.”
4/ Valencia midfielder Daniel Wass, 31, is in such good form at the moment that he has been nominated for the La Liga Player of the Month award for March, alongside none other than Lionel Messi. “Obviously I’m really happy about it, but I think the little wizard is taking it, right,” he modestly told DR. Back in January, Spanish media outlet Marca described Wass as Valencia’s ‘Ironman’ because he plays all their matches and never gets injured – a fitness record that has seen him play more than 500 games over the last 12 seasons.
5/ Midfielder Thomas Delaney scored with a scorpion kick in training (see video below). Colombia goal-keeper René Higuita never looked back after his fantastical save at Wembley in 1995, and Delaney will surely carry the sting in his tail into this game.
6/ Denmark have a great record at qualifying for major tournaments ending in a two – going all the way back to 1992, and we all remember what happened then. Ten years later, they knocked defending champions France out of the World Cup, and at Euro 2012 the Danes pulled off arguably the biggest scalp in their history: a 1-0 defeat of the highly-fancied Netherlands, two years on from a World Cup final in South Africa, in their opening game.