Denmark 4.25, the draw 3.60, Brazil 1.78
An intriguing match is in store at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg, where Euro 2012-bound Denmark meet a young Brazil side. The latter are themselves preparing for a tilt at Olympic gold in London, meaning that this should be one of the more competitive games of the weekend.
Brazil have put a disappointing 2011 Copa America campaign behind them with seven wins in their last eight, albeit against relatively modest opponents. That form may not be an accurate guide for this one, however, as this squad is based on the U20 team that won the World Cup last year. Only six players over the age of 23 have been selected as Mano Menezes assesses his options ahead of London 2012.
Denmark lost to Russia in February, a result that brought an impressive run of wins. In Euro 2012 qualifying, Denmark finished top of a group that included Portugal and Norway, no small feat for a nation starved of footballing success since the unlikely romp to the 1992 Euro title.
Brazil will be far from full-strength, even by the standards of their youthful squad. The supremely talented Neymar will miss the game due to his involvement in Santos’ Copa Libertadores match during the week, whilst clubmate Paulo Henrique Ganso withdrew from the squad to undergo surgery. São Paulo flyer Lucas could also miss out on a starting berth, having joined the squad late. David Luiz, one of the overage players, is doubtful with injury.
Denmark will welcome captain Daniel Agger back to the fray, after he missed the Russia game with a broken rib. Morten Olsen will likely field a strong side, with Niklas Bendtner, Christian Eriksen and Dennis Rommedahl the key men in a potent-looking attack.
Internacional hitman Leandro Damião will be the focal point of the Brazilian attack and will hope to add to his tally of one international goal. Adept in the air and with the ball at his feet, Damião has been on Tottenham Hotspur’s shortlist for some time – he’s at 3.20 to score first and 7.00 to notch at any point.
Niklas Bendtner will come up against the solid Thiago Silva on Saturday, meaning that Christian Eriksen represents better value in the goalscorer market. Eriksen, who has a handy shot from range, can be backed at 17.00 to find the net.
With Neymar, Ganso and Luiz absent, Brazil’s side is significantly weaker than many would have expected. The side still boasts plenty of talent, but 1.78 looks rather short for this one. Instead, consider the unders market at 1.90. Six of Brazil’s last eight games have gone under 2.5 goals, and with Denmark having conceded just six times in Euro qualifying, this could be a low-scoring affair.