Denmark v Portugal preview

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 2:12

Denmark v Portugal preview

Portugal coach Paulo Bento remains confident his side can qualify for the quarter-finals despite losing their first match in the ‘Group of Death’.
Defeat to Germany, coupled with Denmark’s victory over Holland, leaves Portugal and the Dutch already three points adrift in Group B.
Their record against the Danes, Wednesday’s opponent, is poor and their recent goalscoring form equally so but Bento is confident they can turn things around to reach the knockout stage.
“I continue to think we can get through to the quarter-finals,” he said.
“We lacked a greater capacity in the final third of the pitch against Germany, particularly in the first half but our strategy remains to be strong all round, not to rely on counter-attacking.
“We’ve only won one of the last four against Denmark but we don’t dwell on past games. This is another time, with different preparations and in different circumstances.
“Denmark are in a more comfortable position and the Germany defeat has left us in a difficult situation but we have been here before.”
Portugal have scored just once in their last four matches and need to rectify that if they are to keep their chances alive.
“We need to win because then we’ll only be depending on ourselves (going into the final game against Holland),” said Manchester United winger Nani.
“We’re going to try to attack because that’s the only way we’ll be able to win. We’ve got a lot of players who can score and any of them could be decisive for us.”
Despite their win over Holland, Denmark coach Morten Olsen has played down expectations, especially after comparisons started to be made to the side of 20 years ago which won the tournament despite being last-minute replacements for Yugoslavia.
“I don’t want to compare with 1992,” he said. “Sometimes you are successful, sometimes you are not.
“We are not favourites against Portugal, we’re not favourites against the top team, but we want to find our own game”
“A coach’s job is to find players that complement one another. We have a real team that works hard for each other. Other teams have stars, we have a team.”
Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is set to win his 50th cap on Tuesday but he played down the significance of him scoring four goals in as many matches against Portugal as “merely a coincidence”.
Denmark’s recent record against their opponents will also give them hope as they have won three and drawn one of the last five encounters.
“When you name all those things then yes, you could say that [Denmark are favourites] but when you look at their players they are all at top clubs and have shown their talent over the years,” said Bendtner.
“We’re building a new team at the moment but we have great players of our own – as we showed against Holland.
“Portugal may have better players but which is the greater side we will have to wait and see.”

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