Denmark vs Germany – Tuesday 19:45BST/20:45 CEST – Brøndby Stadium – Copenhagen, Denmark.
Denmark vs Germany is one of those classic central European matchups. Although in the shadow of big rivalries, such as Germany against the Netherlands or Germany against Austria, there is a robust and healthy rivalry between the Scandinavian country and Europe’s football powerhouse.
In fact, the match on Tuesday will mark the 25-year anniversary of Denmark defeating Germany in the final of the 1992 European Championships, which took place in Sweden. The triumph in Gothenburg remains Denmark’s biggest success up until today. Ironically Denmark was not even supposed to start at the tournament and only received a spot in the tournament after Yugoslavia was disqualified due to the Civil War that tore the state apart in the early 1990s.
That said Denmark sent a side to Sweden that included the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Brian Laudrup, Fleming Povlsen and Kim Vilfort. While the Danes received their ticket to Yugoslavia without qualification, there was no doubt that they were talented enough to challenge the big boys once they were allowed to take part.
Hence, while the 1992-generation was the outsiders against Germany, the gap was not big enough for Denmark to overcome Germany. Despite the fact that Denmark once again have a young and exciting squad the gap between the two countries is a bit bigger than it was back in 1992.
Germany will travel to Denmark to face a squad that has undergone a bit of a transition period under head coach Åge Hareide. The Futbolgrad Network’s Scandinavia specialist, and Editor in Chief of Russian Football News, Toke Theilade points out that Denmark have somewhat experimented since Hareide became the head coach of Denmark in December 2015.
The coach usually prefers to use a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs, but against Kazakhstan played in a 4-3-3 formation and has since told the media that he will also use that formation against Germany on Tuesday for at least the first 60 minutes.
As for the game, Denmark will be without injured Leicester City keeper Kaspar Schmeichel, and neither Pierre-Emile Højbjerg nor Viktor Fischer were called up for the friendly. Andrew Hjulsager from Celta Vigo and Lukas Lerage from Zulte Waregem replaced the two, and both could make their debuts on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how Germany will approach the match. Joachim Löw will use this game, and the World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Saturday, as test matches for the Confederations Cup in Russia.
Löw announced his squad for the Confederations Cup earlier this month, and the team that will travel to Russia did not include eight regular starters. The U-21 European Championships, which are taken very serious in Germany, further limited the choices that Joachim Löw could make for the 23-man squad. In fact, Leroy Sané, who has been nominated but has since undergone nose surgery, will miss the tournament in Russia. The press in Germany has now speculated that Löw could circumnavigate FIFA’s 23-men squad rule by nominating a player who will stay at home, and travel to Russia with a 22-men team instead.
The 22 players who will face Denmark on Tuesday, however, still include many fascinating talents and should be still more than a match for the Scandinavians. At the same time expect Löw to rotate his squad during halftime and the second half heavily. Past experiences have shown that Germany care little about friendly results and that the coaching staff prioritises the development of squad players. Germany’s preference to ignore results in test matches has produced some lopsided and surprising results in the past, and it will be interesting to see how what kind of formation Löw will field on Tuesday.
Denmark vs Germany – Players to look out for:
Yussuf Poulsen #9 RB Leipzig (Denmark)
Yussuf Poulsen is one of RB Leipzig’s young guns that have taken the Bundesliga by storm this season. The Danish striker was signed by die roten Bullen all the way back when the club was still playing in Liga 3. But as Leipzig was rising through the divisions to the group stage of the Champions League Poulsen was always able to meet the challenges of playing at a higher level. Still, only 22-years old the tall and powerful striker has been a key element in Leipzig’s attacking play. His big frame creates room for the more dynamic Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who scored 21 goals this season in the Bundesliga. Poulsen is, therefore, a target man, who despite having scored just five goals four assists is paramount for RB Leipzig going forward.
Julian Draxler #23 Paris Saint-Germain (Germany)
Julian Draxler has been one of the few Germany regulars that have not been given a rest during the Confederations Cup. The 23-year-old left-winger completed his long sought after transfer to a European powerhouse last Christmas when he joined PSG in France. Since then Draxler has been a key player for the French side and has also been elevated to the status of a regular starter for Germany. Joachim Löw now wants to place Draxler into a leadership role for the tournament in Russia this summer to see whether Draxler can make the next step in the hierarchy of die Mannschaft and become a player who can be counted on when things become difficult on the field.
Denmark vs Germany – Match Stats
- The match marks the 25th anniversary of Denmark winning the European Championships in Sweden against Germany.
- This is the 27 game between Germany and Denmark. Denmark have a losing record against the Germans W8 D3 L15.
- In three matches under Joachim Löw, however, Germany’s record is less than stellar with one win, one defeat, and one draw.
Prediction: Denmark vs Germany 0-2
Denmark vs Germany – Possible Lineups
Rønnow – Durmisi, Christensen, Vestergaard, Dalsgaard – Kvist, Eriksen, Delaney – Jørgensen, Dolberg, Poulsen
Coach: Åge Hareide
Ter Stegen – Hector, Süle, Mustafi, Kimmich – Emre Can, Rudy – Draxler, Goretzka, Brandt – Wagner
Coach: Joachim Löw