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No one fancies playing against us, says Denmark’s Damsgaard


Al RAYYAN, Qatar: Denmark might not be a World Cup favourite but young playmaker Mikkel Damsgaard feels few of the other 31 countries competing in Qatar are keen to take on his team.

Denmark were among the first teams to qualify for the tournament, decisively winning their group, and come into the event on the back of an impressive showing at the European Championship 18 months ago, where they reached the semifinals.

"I think a lot of people hold us in high regard, given the way we played in the Euros and in the qualifiers,” he said on Thursday.

Damsgaard, 22, burst on the scene at the Euros, as he came into the side for the stricken Christian Eriksen, and is now a key part of their attack.

"I don’t think people are underestimating us. I don’t think we’re among the top teams but we’re a very good team and we can compete with anybody.

"Of course, we're not favourites, but I think nobody wants to meet us. I think among the big teams, nobody wants to go up against us.”

Denmark open their Group D campaign against Tunisia at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan on Tuesday, but have tougher tasks ahead against France and Australia.

"Tunisia is a team that we are better than, but we cannot underestimate them. We will have to have the right type of energy and don’t expect to just turn up and get the result.

"Hopefully we can kill the game early and not give them anything.”

Damsgaard said the change in mindset from playing for his English club just over a week ago to focusing on the World Cup, with virtually no preparation time, was not easy.

"It’s a first time for me so I’ve been taking it all in. It is not easy to make the switch but we have to do. We really don’t have a choice,” he added. -- Reuters

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