Denmark coach Age Hareide names full strength squad for crucial November qualifiers

by John Manning

Danish national coach Åge Hareide has named 20 players in his squad for the forthcoming European championship qualifying matches against Gibraltar and the Republic of Ireland.

With no injury or suspension concerns, the squad is largely along familiar lines but there is one new face in the shape of Brentford’s Christian Norgaard, who boasts 27 appearances for Denmark U21s.

One player that may miss out is Kasper Dolberg – a substitute in the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture last June in Copenhagen. The Nice striker is considered to be lacking match sharpness.

Currently Ireland and Denmark share top spot in Group D on 12 points apiece but the Danes will be expected to beat Gibraltar in their game in hand, which is scheduled for four days before the Aviva Stadium showdown.

Unless Ireland can claim all three points against the Danes, qualification for next summer’s final (with Dublin slated to host four matches) will hinge on the UEFA Nations League play-off route).

On their last visit to Dublin, the Danes won 5-1 in a World Cup play-off second-leg match at the Aviva but Hareide isn’t anticipating that matters will be as straightforward, two years on.

Hareide is expecting Ireland to keep things tight and seek a low score victory.

"Ireland are a much stronger team in this campaign. They are very difficult to break down and hit you late, as they did to us in Copenhagen.”

A Shane Duffy strike five minutes from time cancelled out Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s lead goal for Denmark.

"I was just surprised how open the team were in the World Cup play-off,” said Hareide of the 2017 nadir of Martin O’Neill’s reign. “This is a different team under a different manager.”

"They don't score many goals but don't concede many either. It will not be an easy game."

Squad in full

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City), Frederik Ronnow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jesper Hansen (FC Jutland).

Defenders: Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford FC), Daniel Wass (Valencia), Simon Kjær (Atalanta), Jonas Knudsen (Malmö FF), Mathias "Zanka" Jørgensen (Fenerbahce), Joachim Andersen (Lyon), Peter Ankersen (Genoa).

Midfielders: Lasse Schöne (Genoa), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Southampton), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Christian Norgaard, (Brentford), Thomas Delaney (Borussia Dortmund), Robert Skov (Hoffenheim).

Forwards: Christian Gytkjær (Lech Poznan), Martin Braithwaite (Leganes), Andreas Cornelius (Parma), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig).