1 September 2014 19:35
Denmark coach Morten Olsen is determined to make the most of his limited forward options for Wednesday’s friendly with Turkey in Odense.
Star man Nicklas Bendtner has only played 20 minutes of the 2014-15 season after signing as a free agent at Wolfsburg following his release from Arsenal.
Copenhagen’s Andreas Cornelius and Gothenburg’s Lasse Vibe make up the remainder of Olsen’s forward options and the coach will be keen to see how his strikers fare ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifier with Armenia on Sunday.
“Let’s see what he [Bendtner] shows in training,” he said. “It was important for him that he made his debut. But he has only played 20 minutes and I did not get much out of watching.
“Then we’ll see if he is ready to start or whether he could be an important element off the bench.
“There is no doubt that once Bendtner has played some matches, he has a great opportunity to get in shape. He has not been in form since the European Championships in 2012.
“We have been forced to choose what we have chosen. It is clear that we do not have a Bendtner in top form.
“Bendtner has played seven matches since the European Championships in 2012, Cornelius six and Vibe zero. Vibe has not been with us for two years and Cornelius in over a year.
“So we need to quickly find out what we do and it is great that we have the struggle against Turkey first, so we can test some things.”
Turkey coach Fatih Terim has named a 24-man squad for the friendly, as well as their Euro 2016 qualifier in Iceland six days later.
Atletico Madrid midfielder Arda Turan is included, as is Bayer Leverkusen’s Hakan Calhanoglu and the experienced Emre Belozoglu of Fenerbahce.
One man not selected, however, is Emre’s club team-mate Volkan Demirel.
The goalkeeper was involved in an incident with Galatasaray’s Felipe Melo – nicknamed ‘the Pitbull’ – in the Turkish Super Cup and afterwards said: “[The] city council should poison stray dogs otherwise I’ll do it myself.”
Demirel’s comments earned him a three-match ban and an $8,000 fine.