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Denmark vs England Friendly: Preview

“I don’t want to change the world, I’m not looking for a new England” – Billy Bragg, A New England

England travel to Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium today to battle Denmark for their first international of 2011. The side and its supporters will be eager to turn the page on 2010; a year of unfulfilled promise and ultimate disappointment. England played 12 matches in 2010, defeating EgyptMexico, Japan, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Switzerland, drawing with the United States, Algeria and Montenegro and losing to Germany and France. That 4-1 defeat to Germany in Bloemfontein bounced England from the World Cup at the first knockout stage, a clear regression from the consecutive quarter-final appearances under Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2002 and 2006.

Denmark, who exited South Africa at the group stage with a lone win over Cameroon, make a quality opponent for England. They are a point off of second in their relatively easy qualifying group. Four members of their current squad ply their trade in the Premier League, including Nicklas Bendtner at Arsenal, Daniel Agger at Liverpool, and Lars Jacobsen at West Ham United.

With qualification for Euro 2012 seemingly safe (England currently sit second in their group, three points adrift of mighty-mite Montenegro with a match in hand), this year will be about making the transition from the Lampard-Terry-Gerrard generation. Hopefully by the end of 2011, England supporters will be mapping out pierogi-borscht-and-beer-filled itineraries for Poland or Ukraine. More importantly, we should have a clearer idea of the side England will send to Euro ’12 and Brazil ’16. This is the year for England’s younger stars to shine to secure their places on the senior side. England’s next match will be against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on March 26th in a crucial Euro ’12 qualifier. Wales’ footballers will be looking to avenge the home defeat suffered by their rugby brethren against England last Friday.

In the United States, today’s match against Denmark can be seen along with many other of tomorrow’s friendlies at starting at 2:15 EST; and on other Internet streams but not on television in the United States.

Fabio Capello’s 25-man squad for the match:
Ben Foster, Joe Hart, David Stockdale

Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Glen Johnson, Joleon Lescott, John Terry, Kyle Walker

Gareth Barry, Stewart Downing, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, James Milner, Scott Parker, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Ashley Young

Gabriel Agbonlahor, Darren Bent, Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney

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  1. Kevin kuranyi

    February 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Definitely agree with Wilshere and Parker- the two best central midfielders in England on recent form. I would like to see Darrent Bent play as he is also in form.

    • Dave C

      February 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      You’re right – now that I think about it, I’d rather have Bent at the top of the front three than Rooney in my imagined line-up above. We know what Rooney can do when he’s in form (so there’s no point in “trying him out” in this friendly) and currently he’s not in form (so he probably shouldn’t be getting picked anyway), so I’d go with Bent instead of Rooney. Bent gets a bum-rap at international level, but never gets given more than one game to prove himself.

      • Jane

        February 9, 2011 at 5:08 pm

        Hi looking for a chat group about the EPL..i agree about Rooney and his form. Bent was fantastic today. I think it’s time for other’s to get their 15 minutes perhaps it will stoke the fire inside some of the older players who take their spot on the team for granted.

  2. NotTheNoob

    February 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    England v Denmark is being broadcast on television in the United States Thursday at 9:00am(PST)/12:00pm(EST) on ESPN Deportes.

    ESPN Deportes is also airing Colombia v Spain (Wed 5pm EST) and Germany v Italy (Thurs 3am EST).

  3. Will Henry

    February 9, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Great Quote btw. Billy Bragg… two thumbs up. As an American I’m bummed that our boys won’t be playing today. But maybe, just maybe I will root for England come this afternoon, if only for a day.

  4. Vernon Hall

    February 9, 2011 at 10:51 am

    A neat round-up of relevant facts – but it still doesn’t stir my interest in the game which is beyond words to do. Another friendly, risking these players, some of whom are in my Fantasy League team!

    I feel the whole friendly-match plan is distracting to the players. It seems necessary only to the FA who have to justify the huge salary paid to the manager – who is unable to learn English presumably as he is too busy getting great seats in the stand at top EPL matches all over England. I suggest he is given English homework instead of friendly matches.

    • coachie ballgames

      February 9, 2011 at 11:28 am

      And of course, these friendlies are enormously important for The F.A.’s bottom line, especially considering the debt on Wembley.

    • Dave C

      February 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      I wouldn’t say the friendly are necessary only to the FA to help them out with their Wembley costs (although that might be partly true). Lots of national teams have friendlies this week, so it’s not just an English FA thing.

  5. El Tri 2014

    February 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Gerrard is out with a mysterious groin injury. But this is Denmark, should be an easy game. Rooney is somewhat out of form, so I would not use him the full 90 mins.
    L. Baines, G. Cahill, Terry, A. Cole
    Wishere, Parker, Lampard, A. Young
    Crouch Defoe

    Bent, Rooney, Walcott, Agbonlahor to sub during the game

    • Dave C

      February 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      As much as I don’t like to use the cliche “there are no easy games in international football”, seriously Denmark is hardly an easy game. They won 4-1 last time they played England.

  6. Alex

    February 9, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Cant wait to watch the game but am disappointed with the defenders who were chosen.
    Interested in seeing how Scott Parker plays along side this squad. He’s a leader, play maker, and the toughest player on the pitch every time he walks out there.

  7. Dave C

    February 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

    I’m sure Gerrard is injured, hence why Lampard has been given the captaincy.

    I’ve got mixed feelings about this squad. Downing is in there again, despite being consistently bad at international level. Though at the same time, he seems to be doing OK for Villa and I can’t think of many players who should be ahead of him.

    Nice to see Scott Parker getting in the team. Not the most gifted of players, but England needs a proper defensive midfielder. Although I have a feeling he’s just there to make up numbers on the bench.

    Personally I’d like to see Capello actually play a fairly new look team, rather than the same old formation and faces that have failed over and over again. I don’t see the benefit of using a friendly match to give Terry a run-out (as if we’d never seen him play before), or to see (once more) if Lampard can work in a 2 man central midfield.

    I’d like to see something like a 4-3-3 along the lines of:
    G Johnson Cahill Dawson A Cole
    Wilshere Parker
    Walcott Rooney A Young

    And maybe bring Walker, Baines and Downing/Agbonlahor on for Johnson, Cole and Young if possible.

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