Denmark boss Age Hareide backs Christian Eriksen to be strong against Australia
The sides had contrasting results in their opening game.
Denmark head coach Age Hareide is confident talisman Christian Eriksen can deal with whatever tactics Australia deploy to try to stop him – just like he does for Tottenham in the Premier League.
The Danes could put themselves on the verge of qualification for the knockout stage with a second Group C victory in Samara on Thursday after a 1-0 win over Peru.
The Socceroos, meanwhile, went down 2-1 against France in Kazan, so are fighting to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
With so much on the line, much has been made of just how Australia will look to shackle the creativity of Eriksen, who netted a hat-trick as Denmark beat the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in their qualifying play-off second leg in Dublin.
Hareide, though, has no doubts the Spurs man will be ready for the challenge.
“Christian is a player who can change matches, and we try to get him involved as much as we can,” the Norway head coach told a press conference, broadcast on the official FIFA tournament website.
“The opponents, they are going to be very cautious and careful about him, but he is used to that isn’t he from the Premier League.
“We have seen in the Premier League that he can succeed nevertheless.
“We hope that we will get him up to a good level and that he will be able to show good things at this World Cup.”
Australia coach Bert van Marwijk will not need to do any extra homework on Denmark’s star man, Eriksen having worked his way up through the Ajax youth system.
“I know Eriksen, because I already saw him in Holland and also a lot of time in Tottenham,” said the Dutchman, who guided his nation to the 2010 World Cup final where they lost to Spain.
Norway will be without midfielder William Kvist, who broke two ribs against Peru.
Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is expecting another stern test against the Australians.
“When you reach this level, all teams are well prepared, so mentally you have to be ready to fight for it, because small margins will make a difference at this level,” he said.
Van Marwijk also knows just what challenge awaits his side at the Samara Arena.
“The Danes are a strong team, they are number 12 in the world rankings, that says enough,” van Marwijk told a press conference.
“We played against France, they have more quality in the players and more creativity, but I think the Danish are more of a team.”
The Socceroos coach added: “We have to give the same performance against France, with a lot of discipline, but improve in the things which can make a difference.
“We just need to look at the details. We have to play and get more chances. Everything we did, we have to do it better.”