After a long wait, Denmark are back on the Women’s World Cup stage with an ambitious squad at their disposal. Lars Sondegaard will certainly want the team to make this tournament a memorable one so far after a disappointing Euro campaign. It is left to see how well the Danes handle the pressure of such a huge tournament with upcoming stars.
Denmark has been at a FIFA-recognized Women’s World Cup four times before. This will be their first appearance in this tournament since 2007. They have not qualified for the last three editions even after going close to doing so despite being a relative powerhouse in women’s football historically. After consecutive quarterfinal finishes in the first two tournaments, the 1999 and the last one finished at the group stages. Denmark has managed only three wins in the competition out of the 14 matches played.
Qualification for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
The team was helped by the expansion of the World Cup to 32 teams from 24 which opened the gates for qualification to the Women’s World Cup. Denmark topped their qualifiers group anyway by quite a stretch with 13 points clear of Bosnia and Herzegovina in second. Signe Bruun scored the most number of goals with 13.
Preparation for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
In six friendlies, Denmark suffered two defeats to France and Spain failing to find the net even once. They convincingly beat their opponents in the rest ones only conceding twice. Two came against two more World Cup participants, a 2-0 victory over Norway and a 1-0 versus Japan. However, the game against La Roja snapped their winning streak just before the tournament.
Denmark Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
Goalkeepers: Kathrine Larsen (Brøndby), Maja Bay Ostergaard (FC Thy-Thisted), Lene Christensen (Rosenborg)
Defenders: Katrine Veje (Everton), Simone Boye Sorensen (Hammarby IF), Rikke Sevecke, Sofie Svava (Real Madrid), Luna Gevitz (Montpellier), Frederikke Thogersen (Inter Milan), Stine Ballisager Pedersen (Kansas City Current)
Midfielders: Sanne Troelsgaard (Reading), Sofie Junge (Juventus), Nicole Sorensen (Everton), Emma Snerle (West Ham United), Kathrine Kühl (Arsenal), Karen Holmgaard (Everton), Josefine Hasbo (Harvard Crimson), Janni Thomsen (Vålerenga)
Forwards: Pernille Harder (Bayern Munich), Signe Bruun, Amalie Vangsgaard (PSG), Mille Gejl (North Carolina Courage), Rikke Marie Madsen (North Carolina Courage)
Head Coach: Lars Sondegaard
The team is capable of holding possession as well as being defensively compact and offering threats on the counter. So, the side can switch play according to the course of the game and depending on the opposition the play. Having control of both ways can make Denmark profitable at a tournament like this. The attack is also a massive strength for the team with record scorer Pernille Harder leading the charge.
Not being a regular at a stage like this for a while devoid the tournament experience in the squad. There can be leaders in the team competing in other major tournaments but the pressure here is different and new to them as well. Like in Euros, Denmark have suffered by relying too much on Pernille Harder and losing their way if they can’t find her. The same strategy will not help them survive in the competition.
Key Player: Pernille Harder
Returning from an injury that kept her out for months in the previous season at a crucial time for Chelsea, Pernille Harder made some late contributions including an assist in the FA Cup final win over Manchester United and also clinching the Women’s Super League title. It was the last time the Dane wore the blue shirt in a trophy laden-career at the club as her departure to Bayern Munich was confirmed this summer. Now recovered fully, Harder will look to shine on the international stage at the pinnacle competition after an underwhelming Euros last summer. She also be wishing for her first strike at a Women’s World Cup being the record scorer for her country with 70 goals. If the captain turns up on the main occasion, Denmark will go far in the contest.
How will Denmark Lineup at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?
Denmark FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Groups & Fixtures
Saturday, 22 July 2023
Denmark vs China - Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth (05:30)
Friday, 28 July 2023
England vs Denmark - Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney (14:00)
Tuesday, 1 August 2023
Haiti vs Denmark - Perth Rectangular Stadium, Perth (16:30)
It is unlikely Denmark can pip England to the top of the table even though the Euro winners are lacking some key personnel due to injuries. Asian champions China and debutants Haiti are winnable fixtures on paper and it will be enough to help them enter the knockouts. That will let the Red and White face Norway or Switzerland in the last 16 for an even fight in terms of quality. A quarterfinal ending could be on the cards for the side but getting into the knockouts itself will be refreshing on their return.
Note: All timings are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
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