Things could get pretty complicated in Group H of Euro 2012 qualifying on Oct 11th as three teams Denmark, Portugal, and Norway all have a shot at coming in first or second. As it stands going into the game, Portugal sits in top spot with 16 points after seven games with five wins, a draw and a loss. Denmark has an identical record and is tied with them, but Portugal has a +10 goal difference while Denmark’s is +eight. Norway sits in third place with 13 points from four wins, a draw and two losses and a +one goal difference.
Portugal will take first place in the group if they can earn a draw in Denmark. This is because they beat them 3-1 at home last year in a qualifier and would have a better head-to-head record against them. Portugal will also end in first place with a win. Denmark needs a win to claim the group. Norway will be hoping there is a winner as a draw between Denmark and Portugal will eliminate them even if they beat last place Cyprus at home on Tuesday.
If Norway and Denmark end up level with 16 points each, then Denmark will take second place due to their 2-0 home win over the Norwegians and 1-1 home draw. However, if Portugal loses to Denmark and Norway beats Cyprus, Norway and Portugal will be level in head-to-head games as both of their contests with each other ended in 1-1 draws. It would then some down to goal difference, so Norway would have to score a handful against Cyprus and hope Portugal lose by a few to Denmark. The second-place team from this group may also qualify as the best runners up, depending on the outcome of the rest of the games on Oct. 11th.
Portugal beat fourth-place Iceland 5-3 at home on Friday while Denmark won 4-1 in Cyrpus. Both teams should have confidence and the goals have been flowing freely for them. Portugal has also won their last five matches in a row overall while Denmark has won four, lost one and drawn one.
Portugal manager Paulo Bento will likely be without defenders Fabio Coentrao and Pepe as they’re injured and defender Ricardo Carvalho has been suspended from the national team for a year after quitting their training camp last month. Morten Olsen, the Danish manager, will be looking for big games out of Dennis Rommedahl, striker Nicklas Bendtner, and midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Denmark has more to play for in this game, but a draw could ultimately see both of these teams qualify. However, there should be a winner and it’s more likely to be Denmark by a goal.
Sportsbook William Hill has the odds of a Denmark win at 15/8 with a Portugal win at 6/4 and a draw at 13/8.
Goalkeepers: Thomas Sørensen (Stoke City FC), Anders Lindegaard FC (Manchester United FC), Stephan Andersen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC)
Defenders: Bo Svensson (1. FSV Mainz 05), Andreas Bjelland (FC Nordsjælland), Lars Jacobsen (FC København), Simon Poulsen (AZ Alkmaar), Jesper Juelsgaard (FC Midtjyland), Simon Kjær (AS Roma)
Midfielders: Christian Eriksen (AFC Ajax), Jakob Poulsen (FC Midtjylland), Lasse Schøne (NEC Nijmegen), Martin Jørgensen (AGF Århus), Michael Silberbauer (BSC Young Boys), Niki Zimling (Club Brügge KV), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart), Christian Poulsen (Évian Thonon Gaillard FC)
Forwards: Dennis Rommedahl (Brøndby IF), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Brøndby IF), Nicklas Bendtner (Sunderland AFC), Nicolai Jørgensen (Bayer 04 Leverkusen)
Goalkeepers: Eduardo (SL Benfica), Beto (CFR 1907 Cluj), Rui Patrício (Sporting Clube de Portugal)
Defenders: Bruno Alves (FC Zenit St Petersburg), Eliseu (Málaga CF), Henrique Sereno (1. FC Köln), João Pereira (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Ricardo Costa (Valencia CF), Rolando (FC Porto), Sílvio (Club Atlético de Madrid)
Midfielders: Carlos Martins (Granada CF), João Moutinho (FC Porto), Miguel Veloso (Genoa CFC), Paulo Machado (Toulouse FC), Raul Meireles (Chelsea FC), Ruben Amorim (SL Benfica), Ruben Micael (Real Zaragoza)
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF), Hélder Postiga (Real Zaragoza), Nani (Manchester United FC), Nuno Gomes (SC Braga), Ricardo Quaresma (Beşiktaş JK), Silvestre Varela (FC Porto), Tarik Elyounoussi (Fredrikstad FK)