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Thursday, December 2, 2004

England announce Denmark friendly

England will prepare for the final stages of their 2006 World Cup qualifying campaign with a friendly away to Denmark next August.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's side have never previously played an away friendly so early in the domestic season, but they take on both Wales and Northern Ireland away in key qualifiers the following month.

And while some Premiership managers may be unhappy at the extra travelling so early in the season, Eriksson believes the short trip to Copenhagen on August 17 will provide excellent preparation for his players.

cDenmark have a deserved reputation for attractive, attacking football,' the England coach told the Football Association's website, www.theFA.com.

'The 'Danish Dynamite' team of the late 1980s and early 1990s were wonderful to watch, with players like Preben Elkjaer-Larsen, the Laudrup brothers and Peter Schmeichel.

'Their victory in the 1992 European Championship was one of the most incredible stories in modern football. Their team spirit and self belief were fantastic, and they deserved their success.

'Morten Olsen was also one of their greatest players and has shown himself to be a top-quality coach. I am expecting a very difficult game which will be excellent preparation for the final matches of our qualifying campaign.'

Olsen, now the Denmark boss, added: 'England are an outstanding opponent. The match is against the most traditional football nation in the world and a team, which always delivers a 100% effort.

'It is perfectly timed as preparation for our World Cup qualifier against Turkey two weeks later. Let's not forget, we won our last encounter at Old Trafford a year ago.'

Indeed, while Denmark, who are currently second in their qualifying group, were beaten 3-0 by England at the 2002 World Cup, they won 3-2 at Old Trafford in the last friendly between the two sides in November 2003.

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