Injury round up: Robben out, Bendtner doubtful, Skrtel fit
Denmark coach Morten Olsen admits Nicklas Bendtner is unlikely to be fit for their World Cup opener against Holland.
Bendtner, who is suffering with a groin injury, has not played since May but resumed training with the squad this week, prompting speculation he could feature in the Danes’ Group E opening match on Monday.
However, the 22-year-old Arsenal striker returned to the sidelines on Friday, and Olsen has conceded there is little chance of him leading the Danish attack against Holland.
Bendtner is likely to be replaced up front by Jon Dahl Tomasson for the opener if he fails to reach full fitness.
Holland winger Arjen Robben will also miss the game, having sustained a torn hamstring during the Dutch side’s 6-1 friendly win against Hungary.
Even without Robben, Holland will be firm favourites for the game with Denmark, and the Dutch are a convincing 4/7 to win their opener.
In Group F, meanwhile, Slovakia defender Martin Skrtel is expected to be fit for their opening World Cup Group F fixture against New Zealand on June 15th after returning to training.
The Liverpool centre-back, who missed the last three months of the Premier League season with a broken foot, injured his ankle in last week’s friendly against Costa Rica.
However, the 25-year-old took part in a full session with the rest of the squad on Friday, and a Slovakia team spokesman said there were no worries about Skrtel’s fitness as his “medical results are okay”.
Slovakia should have few problems in beating New Zealand, and they are 4/9 to do so. Boosted by Skrtel’s return, Slovakia are strong contenders to qualify from Group F and, with this in mind, they are an attractive 15/8 to be eliminated at the last 16.