Denmark have confirmed eight players who have been cut from their extended FIFA World Cup squad, with coach Age Hareide whittling his list down to 27 players.
The Caltex Socceroos’ Group C opponents on Monday began a preparation camp in Helsingor, Denmark where they train before facing Sweden and Mexico in pre-Russia friendlies.
But having previously named a 35-man preliminary FIFA World Cup squad, Hareide has cut eight players, including Southampton midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
Star names Christian Eriksen, Kasper Schmeichel and Andreas Christensen, as well as veterans Nicklas Bendtner and Michael Krohn-Dehli, are among the 27 names.
Yet Hojbjerg, who made his debut for German giants Bayern Munich at just 17 and was viewed as a prodigious talent by then-coach Pep Guardiola, has not made the cut having struggled for guaranteed game time since moving to the Premier League.
Despite this, Hojbjerg – a technical central midfielder – made 28 appearances for Southampton in all competitions, and was regarded by fans as one of the Saints’ best in a disappointing Premier League season.
Hojbjerg, just 22 years old, has made a total of 21 appearances for the senior Denmark team, having debuted as an 18-year-old in 2014.
Here is Denmark’s extended 27-man squad:
Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester), Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield), Frederik Ronow (Brondby)
Defenders: Simon Kjaer (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Chelsea), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach), Andreas Bjelland (Brentford), Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford), Peter Ankersen (FC Copenhagen), Jens Stryger (Udinese), Jonas Knudsen (Ipswich),
Midfielders: William Kvist (FC Copenhagen), Thomas Delaney (Werder Bremen), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Lasse Schone (Ajax), Mike Jensen (Rosenborg), Lukas Lerager (Bordeaux), Michael Krohn-Dehli (Deportivo La Coruna)
Forwards: Pione Sisto (Celta Vigo), Martin Braithwaite (Bordeaux), Andreas Cornelius (Atalanta), Viktor Fischer (FC Copenhagen), Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig), Nicolai Jorgensen (Feyenoord), Nicklas Bendtner (Rosenborg), Kasper Dolberg (Ajax)
Players Cut: Jesper Hansen (FC Midtjylland), Riza Durmisi (Real Betis), Nicolai Boilesen (FC Copenhagen), Daniel Wass (Celta Vigo), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton), Mathias Jensen (FC Nordsjaelland), Robert Skov (FC Copenhagen), Kenneth Zohore (Cardiff)
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