The England vs Denmark match will take place this Wednesday, March 5, 2014 (12:00 PM Pacific, 20:00 GMT) at Wembley Stadium. In England there has always been doubts as to the relevance of friendlies, certainly since the Sven Goran Eriksson era, when the chances of him not changing the entire starting eleven at half time were about as likely as Sol Campbell taking over at the FA. In short, friendly games were devalued.
However, this game against a decent Danish side represents many players’ last opportunity to impress Roy Hodgson enough to book their ticket to Brazil and as such, it could be a decent game.
England Squad News
With Kyle Walker missing, having failed to recover from injury, Glen Johnson will start and win his 50th cap and will be hoping to play well enough to guarantee more in the summer. In honesty, since his return to the Liverpool back four, he has looked slightly off the pace, but England aren’t exactly spoiled for choice in the right back department.
The same can’t be said of the left back position, with Luke Shaw hoping to start and prove he can do it on the biggest stage after a great season with Southampton. With Leighton Baines arguably first choice currently, it’s hard to see Ashley Cole being part of the final 22.
The midfield is also an embarrassment of riches in comparison with years gone by. Not in comparison with Spain of course, but for an English team to be able to pick from Gerrard, Lampard, Wilshere, Carrick, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley, Townsend, Lallana, Sterling, Young and, dare I say it: Cleverley, is something no English manager has had since Glen Hoddle.
Southampton have 4 in the squad and Lambert and Rodriguez will be hoping to get some minutes to see if they are able to squeeze into the 22. It’s unlikely, but things tend to happen in the last few months of a season running into a major competition.
England have not won at Wembley in their last two attempts, as they were brought painfully back down to earth against Germany and Chile, after a relatively simple qualification.
Denmark Squad News
The Danes missed out on a World Cup play-off place by virtue of finishing second in their group, but with the lowest points haul of the lot. They are a useful side and should provide decent opposition for the English.
The supremely confident Niklas Bendtner (who recently announced he will be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season) will lead the line, while other Premier league stars such as William Kvist (on loan at Fulham) and Daniel Agger should both feature, although Christian Eriksen will miss out through injury.
Probable Starting Line Ups
England: Forster, Johnson, Cahill, Smalling, Baines, Wilshere, Carrick, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Sterling, Sturridge.
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Bjelland, Agger, Kristensen, Poulsen, Kvist, Zimling, Kahlenberg, Bendtner, Krohn-Dehli
England vs Denmark Prediction
England have 29 players, so many are likely to miss out. It makes sense for Hodgson to try out some new players, although exactly how much can be learned from these kind of exercises in the middle of the season is up for debate. That said, with the form of Sturridge and Sterling and the solid look to the back four, you’d think England will probably come through as victors despite what Bendter might think he is capable of.
The Danes are unbeaten in five, but with a full house at Wembley ready to see the team off before Brazil, England should prove to be too much. Prediction: England 2 – 0 Denmark.
England vs Denmark Television
The England vs Denmark match will be televised on Fox Deportes, Fox Sports 2 USA, and ITV 1 (UK).
The England vs Denmark highlights will be posted as soon as the match ends.