Denmark without five regular starters

BY foxsports • March 2, 2010

At least four players could make their debut for Denmark in the friendly against Austria on Wednesday after injuries ruled out five regulars.

Jon Dahl Tomasson, Jesper Gronkjaer, Daniel Agger, Martin Jorgensen and Jakob Poulsen were ruled out with injuries, leaving Denmark especially short in midfield.

Coach Morten Olsen added Martin Ornskov Nielsen, Peter Nymann, Christian Eriksen and Jim Larsen, neither of whom has played for the national team.

"We can now test some young players ... It's their chance to make it to the team," Olsen said on Tuesday. "Austria will be a serious test for us."

The match will be Denmark's third friendly ahead of the World Cup in South Africa, where it takes on the Netherlands, Cameroon and Japan in Group E.

Denmark beat the United States 3-1 and had a goalless draw with South Korea in November.

"We are in the middle of our preparations," Olsen said. "It's a very important stage. Austria is a key test to see where we stand right now."

Olsen said he was impressed by his team's performance in qualifying for the World Cup finals.

"Our team did a terrific job in advancing from a group that also included Portugal. Now we must take the next step," Olsen said.

The coach said Denmark could become a force to be reckoned with in South Africa.

"If all our best players are back in the team and healthy, everything can happen," Olsen said. "It will depend on the form of the day."

Denmark hasn't played Austria in 19 years after winning their last meeting 3-0 in Vienna in 1991.

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