Current FIFA ranking: 12
World Cup Appearances: 5TH time in 2018
World Cup 2014: Did not qualify
Denmark got the chance to play in the first World Cup in 1986, then they are known as the ‘Danish Dynamite’ to the football world. Although the 1992 Euro champion, Denmark did not have any Dynamite-ish stuff in the World Cup finals, except reaching the quarter-final of the 1998 World Cup. But there was always the presence of Danish in the Scandinavian region’s football superpowers.
After holding the second position of group E of European qualifier, Denmark gets chance to play the playoff games. And winning against the Ireland Republic by 5-1 in the final play-off match, Denmark took full advantage of that opportunity and guaranteed their place in the World Cup finals.
Christian Eriksen is the name of the talisman of the team, because of him Denmark will be honoured by other teams in the World Cup, Eriksen, Tottenham Hotspur’s midfielder has established himself very well in Euro football arena with his skill and effectiveness.
Apart from him, the veteran William Kvist is in charge of midfield. Young winger Pione Sisto seems to be the main man for the attacking department of coach Age Hareide. And under the goal bar, goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel established himself as a worthy successor of his famous father Peter Schmeichel.
Denmark World Cup Squad
Preliminary World Cup Squad – the Final 23-man squad is yet to be announced
GOALKEEPERS: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Frederik Ronnow (Brondby), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Jesper Hansen (FC Midtjylland).
DEFENDERS: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Bjelland (Brentford), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jens Stryger Larsen (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich), Nicolai Boilesen, Peter Ankersen (both FC Copenhagen), Riza Durmisi (Real Betis).
MIDFIELDERS: Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Daniel Wass (Celta Vigo), Lasse Schone (Ajax Amsterdam), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Mathias Jensen (Nordsjaelland), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna), Mike Jensen (Rosenborg), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), William Kvist (FC Copenhagen).
FORWARDS: Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax), Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff City), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Pine Sisto (Celta Vigo), Robert Skov, Viktor Fischer (both FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig).
Now its time for the Danish to prove the fruition of their nickname ‘Danish Dynamite’ in this Russia World Cup.
Current FIFA ranking: 40
World Cup Appearances: 5TH time in 2018
World Cup 2014: Group Stage
In 2006, Socceroos got their first chance in the World Cup after a long period of 32 years later. In this year, they are going to Russia for their fourth consecutive World Cup campaign. And they have compiled a huge history in the way of their road to Russia.
Before getting Russia’s World Cup ticket, Socceroos had to play 22 matches. This is a world record of playing most games for the World Cup qualification. They have also travelled almost 250,000 km to play matches against 11 different opponents. Finally, they beat Honduras in the final playoff game and confirmed the World Cup ticket.
Talented Aaron Mooy is considering as the best player of Australia’s current team. In that case, there is no other better occasion than World Cup to show his talent to the rest of the world. Therefore, after a long break due to the injuries, Mile Jadinak also revealed his presence in the final play-off match against Honduras with a hat-trick.
The 38-year-old Tim Cahil, who has been named in the preliminary squad, is yet to understand whether he will get to the World Cup squad.
Australia World Cup squad
The final 23-man squad is yet to be announced. Here is the preliminary world cup squad for the Socceroos.
GOALKEEPERS: Brad Jones (Feyenoord), Mitch Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Matt Ryan (Brighton), Danny Vukovic (Genk).
DEFENDERS: Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Milos Degenek (Yokohama F. Marinos), Alex Gersbach (RC Lens), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Samsung Blue Wings), Fran Karacic (NK Lokomotiva), James Meredith (Millwall), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney), Trent Sainsbury (Grasshopper Zurich), Aleksandar Susnjar (FK Mlada Boleslav), Bailey Wright (Bristol City).
MIDFIELDERS: Josh Brillante (Sydney FC), Jackson Irvine (Hull City), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), Robbie Kruse (VfL Bochum), Massimo Luongo (QPR), Mark Milligan (Al-Ahli), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield), Tom Rogic (Celtic), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Tim Cahill (Millwall).
FORWARDS: Daniel Arzani (Melbourne City), Apostolos Giannou (AEK Larnaca), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Mathew Leckie (Hertha Berlin), Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian), Andrew Nabbout (Urawa Red Diamonds), Dimitri Petratos (Newcastle Jets), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa).
Aussies are the one of the all-time best of cricket, but only time can say how far the Socceroos will be able to reach in this world cup.