Denmark Going "All In" To Beat Peru In Group C Opener

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Denmark boss Age Hareide is confident his side can handle the pressure that comes with a World Cup ahead of their crucial Group C clash with Peru.

Hareide's side kick-off their campaign in Saransk on Saturday, with Australia and tournament favourites France also in the pool.

With France favourites to claim top spot, the fight is seemingly on for second place, and Hareide acknowledged that beating Peru - taking part in their first World Cup since 1982 - is vital to Denmark's chances of progression.

"Of course, if we want a good opportunity for second place the three points are very important," he said.

"We're going all in to win the match. At a World Cup there's always pressure because everybody is watching, but I would say there was more pressure on us in Dublin [in the play-off against the Republic of Ireland] when we had to qualify.

"The players have shown good things in big clubs, they are used to pressure. We have built this match up as the important one, so we need to be able to handle the pressure."

Just three of Denmark's squad have experience of playing in a World Cup, but with the likes of Christian Erkisen, Andreas Christensen and new Borussia Dortmund signing Thomas Delaney at his disposal, Hareide is thrilled with the quality available.

"We are spending a lot of time together, and that’s a good thing, to work on details. We have found the right roles for the players and we get better interaction," he continued.

"You have to be good defensively and recently we have been working on the offensive side.

"I am pleased to be here and working with such skilful players. They're coming from clubs in Denmark and all over Europe. The feeling of cohesion within the team is very good.

"Peru have very good players up front, and they’re good at defending. As far as we're concerned we need to play our own game."

Simon Kjaer is one of those three players to have featured at a previous World Cup, and the Sevilla man echoed his coach's thoughts on the potential of Denmark's squad.

"In 2010 we had experience, but also many injuries, including myself. So the preparations were not so good," Kjaer said.

"Now, we have a group that is 100 per-cent fit and we are hungry to go and play tomorrow. The time we have spent together has been excellent. 

"Not many of our team have participated in finals before, but we are not worried because they play at a high level."