Venue - Arena Lviv, Lviv
Live Streams - http://www.wiziwig.tv/broadcast.php?...56&part=sports
Just what you don't need when down on your luck and desperate for a win is a match against your bogey team, and that's exactly what Portugal face when they take on a Denmark; a side who finished ahead of them in qualifying for both Euro 2012 and the 2010 World Cup. If that run continues in Lviv, then Cristiano Ronaldo and co might just find themselves on a flight home come the weekend.
This year has not been kind for the Portuguese so far with no wins and just one goal from four matches - not the desired form to be in during a major championship. Paulo Bento's men did hit the woodwork twice against Germany last weekend as they chased the game but the failure to take those chances will do little to boost what is perceived as brittle confidence, especially without a recognised playmaker through the middle. The Portuguese reportedly dedicated a training session earlier this week to target practice but will that have the desired effect?
Nicklas Bendtner and Michael Krohn-Dehli, the Danish hero from their surprise win over the Netherlands at the weekend, both have previous against Portugal, each scoring in the Danes' 2-1 qualifying win in Copenhagen last October that condemned Portugal to a play-off to reach the finals. That night the hosts' game plan - shutting Cristiano Ronaldo out - succeeded and they will be looking to do exactly the same again in Lviv.
The Danes, written off by most before a ball was kicked in the group, demonstrated last Saturday they thrive when given the little guy status. Goalkeeper Stephan Andersen, who excelled against the Dutch, revealed: "We still look at ourselves as underdogs… that's what we'll be in the next two matches." Victory for Morten Olsen's men would really put the cat amongst the pigeons in the so-called Group of Death and place the Danes on the verge of qualification for the quarter-finals.LINE-UPS Denmark v Portugal
Denmark: Andersen, Jacobsen, Kjaer, Agger, Simon Poulsen, Kvist Jorgensen, Zimling, Rommedahl, Eriksen, Krohn-Delhi, Bendtner. Subs: Lindegaard, Christian Poulsen, Bjelland, Okore, Schone, Silberbauer, Pedersen, Wass, Jakob Poulsen, Kahlenberg, Mikkelsen, Schmeichel.
Portugal: Rui Patricio, Joao Pereira, Bruno Alves, Pepe, Fabio Coentrao, Meireles, Veloso, Joao Moutinho, Nani, Postiga, Ronaldo. Subs: Eduardo, Custodio, Almeida, Quaresma, Nelson Oliveira, Ricardo Costa, Rolando, Ruben Micael, Varela, Miguel Lopes, Hugo Viana, Beto.
Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)MATCH FACTS
- Since Morten Olsen's debut as Denmark coach in August 2000, the Danes have won three out of five matches with Portugal and only lost one.
- Up until that point Portugal had won six of the first seven meetings between the countries. In total Portugal have won seven of 12 official encounters compared to Denmark's three.
- Portugal have scored in all of their 12 previous meetings - matches that have averaged 3.5 goals per game.
- Denmark have won five successive competitive matches for the first time since Sep2008-Jun 2009. Victory would see them record six straight wins for first time since Jun-Nov 1999, and for a first time under Olsen.
- The last team to beat Denmark in a competitive match were Portugal, who inflicted a 3-1 qualifying defeat in Lisbon in October 2010.
- If selected, Nicklas Bendtner will win his 50th Danish cap. He has scored one goal in each of his four previous matches against Portugal and has never lost a match against them (three wins, one draw).
- Portugal have lost their last three European Championship matches - their longest ever run of defeats in the tournament.
- Paulo Bento's first match as Portugal head coach came in the 3-1 home victory over Denmark in October 2010.
- Portugal have never failed to advance beyond the group stage before at five previous European Championship finals tournaments where group stages have been contested.