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World Cup playoffs: Denmark player profiles

Age Hareide’s likely starting XI for Saturday’s crunch first leg clash in Copenhagen

Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen will post Denmark’s biggest threat on Saturday. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

1 Kasper Schmeichel
Club: Leicester City
Caps: 29
While he will never quite fill the gloves of his old man, Leicester’s Schmeichel has developed into one of the Premier League’s most reliable goalkeepers, and has the winner’s medal to prove it.

Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty

17 Peter Ankersen
Club: FC Copenhagen
Caps: 17 Ankersen is set to start at fullback in the absence of Brentford’s Henrik Dalsgaard. A regular for FC Copenhagen, he has won back-to-back doubles since joining from Red Bull Salzburg in 2015.

4 Simon Kjaer
Club: Sevilla
Caps: 72
Still only 28-years-old but a stalwart in this Danish side, captain Kjaer is looking to make it to his third major tournament. Denmark’s defensive lynchpin, he is fit after recovering from a hamstring injury picked up playing for Sevilla against Barcelona.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer in action for Sevilla. Photograph: Julio Munoz/EPA

12 Andreas Bjelland
Club: Brentford
Caps: 26

Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen has a bright future and impressed during his side’s recent 1-0 win over Manchester United, yet he is likely to be consigned to the bench behind Brentford’s Bjelland, who is first choice and has formed a good partnersip with Kjaer.

14 Jens Stryger Larsen
Club: Udinese
Caps: 7

With Riza Durmisi of Real Betis out injured, Stryger Larsen is in line to start at leftback. The 26-year-old is naturally right-footed and with seven caps is relatively inexperienced at international level.

7 William Kvist
Club: FC Copenhagen
Caps: 75

The likely-benched Nicolas Bendtner aside, Kvist is the most experienced player in the Danish side. The midfielder is a mainstay of Age Hareide’s side, and spent a season with Wigan Athletic in the Championship in 2014/15.

8 Thomas Delaney
Club: Werder Bremen
Caps: 21

The Dane with an Irish name, Delaney is a powerful box-to-box midfielder whose form for Werder Bremen has seen him linked with a move to the Premier League. Strong in the air and with an eye for goal, he recently scored a hat-trick against Armenia.

Dnaish midfielder Thomas Delaney in action for Werder Bremen. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

10 Christian Eriksen
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Caps: 73

One player who needs no introduction. Eriksen is as integral to a flourishing Tottenham side as Harry Kane and Dele Alli, and his inventiveness and guile is matched only by his supreme ability over the deadball.

20: Yussuf Poulsen
Club: RB Leipzig
Caps: 22

23-year-old Poulsen joined the risible RB Leipzig project in 2013 and has been a mainstay on their energy-drink fuelled rise from the German third division up to the Bundesliga. Recently scored in a victory over Borussia Dortmund and will be a big threat to Ireland.

15: Nicolai Jorgensen
Club: Feyenoord
Caps: 26

Reportedly the subject of interest from Everton over the summer, Feyenoord target man Jorgensen will lead the line for Denmark. Fractured his wrist scoring against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League but will play in a protective cast.

Nicolai Jorgensen is set to feature on Saturday despite fracturing his wrist playing for Feyenoord. Photograph: Olaf Kraak/EPA

23 Pione Sisto
Club: Celta Vigo
Caps: 8

Scored for FC Midtjylland in both legs as they threatened to cause an upset against Manchester United in the Europa League in 2016. Has since become a regular starter for Celta Vigo with seven assists in 11 La Liga appearances this season.

Pione Sisto has become a mainstay for Celta Vigo this season. Photograph: Daniel Perez/EPA