Denmark coach Morten Olsen has named a 20-man squad for this month's friendly in
Denmark coach Morten Olsen has named a 20-man squad for this month's friendly international with England at Old Trafford, the first time that the two countries have met since Sven-Göran Eriksson's side knocked the Danes out of the last World Cup...
Both England and Denmark have already qualified for next summer's European Championship finals in Portugal by winning their respective groups, and could yet be paired together at Euro 2004 when the draw takes place in Lisbon on 30 November.
And of the 20 players chosen by Olsen, there are a whole host of names familiar to English audiences, including the man who has succeeded former national team captain Peter Schmeichel in goal, Aston Villa's new shot-stopper Thomas Sørensen, Charlton Athletic midfielder Claus Jensen and Everton's workaholic ball-winner Thomas Gravesen.
England's full-backs a week on Sunday at the Theatre of Dreams will also need to have their skates on as the Danes have a collection of four speedy wingers that any side in world football would be proud to call their own.
Watchers of the Premiership will know all about the Chelsea flyer Jesper Grønkjær, while those who have been watching this season's Champions League will have found it hard not to notice the outstanding performances of Rangers' left-winger Peter Løvenkrands.
However, Olsen will also travel to Manchester with two other tricky customers, PSV Eindhoven's Dennis Rommedahl, perhaps the quickest of the quartet and someone who Sir Bobby Robson is a known admirer of and Martin Jørgensen, a successful Danish export to Serie A with Udinese.
The experienced trio of Internazionale's Thomas Helveg and AC Milan pair Martin Laursen and Jon Dahl Tomasson have been selected, while Tomasson's regular international strike partner Ebbe Sand has also been chosen and should start alongside the more prolific man from San Siro, despite his disappointing season to date in the Bundesliga for Schalke.
Other names of interest include ex-Celtic midfielder Morten Wieghorst, now of Brøndby and there has been a first international call-up for West Bromwich Albion defender Thomas Gaardsøe, recently signed from Ipswich Town and who Denmark assistant coach Keld Bordinggaard watched keep Sunderland at bay at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Interestingly, of the 20 players selected by Olsen for Denmark's first visit to England since they lost 1-0 in what was Terry Venables' first game as coach of the Three Lions at Wembley in March 1994, 12 of them featured at some point or another when the two sides clashed in Niigata during the last-eight of the 2002 World Cup, a game of course which England won 3-0.
by Richard Morgan
England v Denmark: Match Centre