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Back of the Net
The Back of the Net boys continue their tongue-in-cheek look ahead to Euro 2012. Here, John Foster on a team who have upset the odds once and are therefore statisticaly far less likely to do so again: Denmark...
Having enjoyed their greatest success when relying mostly on players called Laudrup, Denmark face an uphill struggle to repeat the glories of the 80s and early 90s, now relying mostly on players called Poulsen.
Tournament pedigreeThe Danes have got past the group stage only once in the past four European Championships. However, they sensationally won the competition in 1992 despite only being last-minute participants, their long-honed ability to not engage in a brutal civil war seeing them get the nod over Yugoslavia.
Road to Poland and UkraineDenmark topped their qualifying group ahead of former client state Norway, which they ruled from 1523 to 1814; former protectorate Iceland, which they ruled from 1380 to1874; former vassal state Cyprus, governed by Danish Vikings from 1192 to 1489; and former colony Portugal, which was technically ruled by Denmark for three weeks in August 1920 owing to a mistranslated passage in the Treaty of Sèvres.
Man to watchWide man Jakob Poulsen will be looking to build on his fine domestic season, assisted by the veteran Christian Poulsen, while rising star Simon Poulsen will provide competition for places. Psychobilly rocker Michael Poulsen sings the team’s official anthem, ‘Der er et yndigt Poulsen’.
Worth a bet?There’s little value to be gained in what looks like being the tightest group of the bunch, but consider 12/1 against Denmark fielding a starting XI consisting entirely of players named Poulsen.
Did you know?The great Denmark team of the eighties was known as ‘Danish Dynamite’, in reference to the tendency of several high-spirited younger players to sneak into Legoland after closing time and blow up plastic brick-based scale-models of major cities.
More from Back of the NetGroup A: Poland • Russia • Greece • Czech RepublicGroup B: Netherlands • Germany • Portugal • Denmark
Group C: Spain • Italy • Croatia • Republic of Ireland
Group D: Ukraine • England • France • Sweden
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