Denmark have made a great step toward the World Cup berth with a win at Montenegro and will now aim to build on the success from Podgorica to make sure they at least have the play-off spot in their bag.
Denmark on the run
Back-to-back defeats to Denmark and Montenegro at the beginning of the World Cup qualifiers put plenty of pressure on what has been described as one of the most talented Denmark sides in quite some time. Having missed last two major international tournaments – the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 – the Danes have a great chance to make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia after Age Hareide’s men made a perfect response to the two opening draws by going on unbeaten in their next eight matches in all competitions. The impressive 4-0 win over group leaders Poland was arguably the biggest moment of Denmark’s qualifying campaign whereas the latest 1-0 win over Montenegro in Podgorica is definite proof of Denmark’s strength and determination. Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen proved to be the difference for Denmark as they won their crucial clash on Thursday. Eriksen has now scored in five consecutive matches for his national side which brings his total tally to 17 goals in 72 caps.
Tottenham star will once again lead the line for Denmark as Age Hareide’s side head into the Romania clash without any selection issues. Betis defender Riza Durmisi could be rewarded with a starting berth at the expense of Larsen at left-back.
Romania have nothing to fight for
Siting in fourth place in Group E, Romanian national team has long lost any chance of making it into the 2018 World Cup. Cosmin Contra’s men have still put in a competitive display against Kazakhstan at Stadionul Ilie Oana in Ploiesti on Thursday to beat the bottom-dwellers 3-1 in the penultimate World Cup qualifier. It was a nice way to repay the fans for their support ahead of the trip to Denmark where Romania will have a difficult job against highly motivated hosts who need a positive result to secure their place in the playoffs or grab the Russian visa if Poland slip up against Montenegro. Constantin Budescu was the man to watch against Kazakhstan as FCSB forward impressed with a fantastic first-half brace which opened a comfortable cushion for Romania. Ludogorets striker Claudiu Keseru scored the third goal for Romania with less than 20 minutes left on the clock whereas Turysbek scored the consolation goal for Kazakhstan in 82nd minute. Romania travel to Denmark without any pressure which can be their biggest advantage against the hosts who are in a need to get a positive result.
Romania manager Cosmin Contra is unlikely to ring too many changes to his squad and will definitely include Budescu and Keseru in the starting line-up after their impressive displays against Kazakhstan. Ovidiu Hoban could be rewarded with a starting line-up as well.
Denmark might be under pressure to claim at least a point against Romania but there is no doubt they will do everything to win and grab a firm hold of that second place. They could still finish above Poland if in-form Lewandowski and co. suffer a blow against Montenegro – which is unlikely – so that’s a glimmer of hope that is bound to keep their spirits high against Romania.
Top pick: Half Time/Full Time Home win 2.05 (21/20) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Christian Eriksen to score anytime 2.60 (8/5) @Bet365
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.70 (7/10) @Unibet