On Saturday the two viking nations of Denmark and Sweden are facing one another in an all-important World Cup qualifier in the European qualifier group 1. Denmark is leading the group with 18 points, three more than Sweden on second place (and with Portugal and Hungary on third and fourth place respectively, with 13 points each).
Two points in the last two matches against Sweden and Hungary are thus enough for Denmarj to qualify for South Africa: If Denmark defeats Sweden the last match against Hungary. A tie will also be good for Denmark, although they will then have to avoid losing to Hungary.
Sweden needs a victory, but that may not prove enough in case Denmark defeats Hungary, as Denmark has a better goal difference than the Swedes, who are therefore called to attack.
Earlier in the qualifiers, Denmark defeated Sweden 1-0 in Stockholm, in a match where the Swedes were pathetically bad, more than the Danes being good. Both teams are similar in the sense that they rely on solid organisation, tactical discipline and strong physique to level their lack of footballing skills. The only superstar of either team is FC Barcelona's Zlatan Ibrahimovic who on the national team has not really been any good, without quality players to play behind him. However, be sure that with their back against the wall the Swedes will fight for their victory, while the Danes have to perform much better than their pathetic performance against Albania in their last qualifiers.
Added to the importance of the match, there is the traditional between the neighboring countries. This match will in fact be the match number 101 between the two nations since their first encounter in 1913 (which Denmark won 8-0!). The encounter number 100 was the one Denmark won in Stockholm, but the teams have also had some excellent encounter lately, notably a Euro 2008 qualifier in Copenhagen in June 2007, which at the score 3-3 was stopped when a drunken Danish "roligan" attacked the referee, and Sweden was subsequently awarded a 3-0 victory by UEFA.
All in all the record is of 37 victories for Denmark, 45 victories for Sweden, and 18 ties, with a score of 182-165 in Sweden's favour, but I certainly hope that the record will improve in Denmark's favour on Saturday!