International Friendly: Denmark vs Mexico – Lineups, Preview and Prediction
Mexico make one final stop en-route to the World Cup by visiting Denmark in the final warm-up match for both sides.
19:00 BST, Saturday 9 June, Brondby Stadion (Brondby, Denmark)
North American powerhouses Mexico make a pit-stop in Brondby on their way to the World Cup, to take on Denmark.
Both sides have tickets to the party in Russia although Mexico earned theirs with much less effort. Coming through the CONCACAF region of North America, El Tri seldom have difficulty reaching the finals of summer tournaments.
Mexico, along with five other teams, receive a bye to the fourth of five qualifying rounds. After reaching the fifth round, known as ‘the hexagonal’, Mexico topped the group after ten home and away matches with Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, USA and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Mexicans have featured in every edition since being banned from the competition in 1990, but have fallen at the last-16 hurdle in the six previous tournaments.
For Denmark, the road to Russia was more treacherous. After being drawn in UEFA’s Group E with Poland, Montenegro, Romania, Armenia and Kazakhstan, automatic qualification would never be easy.
The Poles topped the group, five clear of Denmark, who had to settle for a place in the dreaded playoffs. After being seeded in the eight-team pot for the draw, a home and away two-leg tie with the Republic of Ireland saw the Danes qualify after a thumping 5-1 aggregate win.
The last time these two sides met was back in January 2013, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw.
Tottenham and Denmark superstar Christian Eriksen will hope to get 90 minutes under his belt after sitting out the 0-0 draw against Sweden.
Main goal scoring threat Nicolai Jorgensen will hope to keep his place up front despite playing 75 minutes at the weekend.
Forward Javier Hernandez will hope to regain a place in the starting XI after missing out entirely during the 1-0 win over Scotland at the weekend.
The West Ham United striker will look to link-up with other long-standing national team attackers in Giovani dos Santos and Carlos Vela, to form a potent attack.
Key Battle: William Kvist (Denmark) vs Giovani dos Santos (Mexico)
Much of the Mexican attacking threat comes from the creativity and movement of dos Santos and his teammate Carlos Vela.
Often dropping deeper to pick up the ball and act as the midfield-to-attack linchpin, Kvist will have a job to do to stop him from getting into positions where he can dictate the play.
The Danish midfielder played the full 90 minutes against Sweden, though, and will have had a week to rest ahead of this one.
The Eriksen and dos Santos show?
While the two midfield maestro’s may not come into a direct key battle, the pair often have such a big say and influence in their respective teams’ success.
Eriksen is the standout player in a Denmark side that has an impressive record but isn’t bustling with stars. The Danes haven’t lost a competitive fixture in 14 games, last being beaten at home by Montenegro in October 2016.
Dos Santos has been around the block for a while and is one of a handful of players named in El Tri’s World Cup squad to have amassed over 100 caps for his national side. Chipping in with 19 goals in that time, the LA Galaxy midfielder, alongside domestic teammate Carlos Vela, is an integral part of his sides’ success.
Prediction: Denmark 1-1 Mexico
Neither side will fancy pushing things too far with the World Cup now less than a week away, so this one may end up fizzling out in the second half.
Both teams have been in solid, consistent form recently and neither manager will want to compromise any built-up level of confidence before the real thing gets underway.
Who do you think will win this game? Let us know in the comments below.