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Denmark boss Olsen knows Japan will be tough

Denmark manager Morten Olsen knows his side will come up against a tough Japanese outfit on Thursday night.

The Danes need a win over the Blue Samurai to push through to the Round of 16 and Olsen is well aware that Takeshi Okada's men will take a power of beating.

"It is a decisive game and hopefully the first final for us," Olsen said.

"We know what to do. Sometimes the difference is how many points you have to have. For instance, when Denmark were in the World Cup in 1998 (in France), they had to have four points but now we have to have six points. That is the name of the game, so we know what we have to do. On Thursday, we will be confident."

Despite being on three points, the same as Japan, Denmark's goal difference is inferior to the Asians meaning a draw will not do and Olsen expects a very defensive Japan to come out as teams who have performed well in defence have achieved positive results so far this tournament.

"Look at New Zealand against Italy and Spain against Switzerland. It is difficult to make goals nowadays. When you play defensive teams, that is the name of the game," he added.

"Japan have a good group of players who are fighting for their country. They are proud to play for Japan. They have a good coach who has a good knowledge of football and because of that, the Dutch team had many difficulties."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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