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Crystal Palace: Joachim Andersen had a World Cup shocker

Crystal Palace have just two players at the World Cup in Qatar and it has already been confirmed that Joachim Andersen will be returning to Selhurst Park far earlier than expected.

Denmark were expected to have a strong tournament given they reached the semi-final of the European Championships in 2021 and have been in superb form.

Kasper Hjulmand’s side won nine of their 10 qualifying fixtures, conceding just three goals and scoring 30, so it seemed likely that they would at least reach the knockout stages in Qatar.

However, they would draw their opening game 0-0 with Tunisia before losing 2-1 to France, which meant that Thursday’s game against Australia became a must-win if they wanted to progress.

The Danes would surprisingly lose 1-0 to crash out of the World Cup bottom of Group D after collecting just one point, and Andersen will definitely be disappointed with his performance against the Socceroos.

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As per Sofascore, the Palace centre-back would earn a poor 6.6/10 rating for his display, with only three players in Denmark’s starting squad rated lower.

The former Fulham man is usually so assured with his passing but he was well off it against Graham Arnold’s side on Thursday, as he registered a disappointing 76% pass accuracy after finding a teammate with just 94 of his 123 attempted passes.

Andersen would lose possession a remarkable 32 times, which was comfortably the most of any player on the pitch, which suggests that he was certainly a big factor in their surprise defeat.

The 26-year-old was clearly forced to resort to long balls as Denmark desperately tried to rescue their World Cup, as he played 26 long balls in total, of which just 11 were accurate, which was clearly a big problem for the Danes as they failed to find a way past a resolute Australia defence.

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In the Premier League this season, Andersen has averaged just 6.6 long balls and an 81% pass success rate per game, so he was clearly not on top of his game in Qatar, and will be hugely disappointed to be coming home early.

The silver lining for Crystal Palace is they will have a player who is extremely “important” to Patrick Vieira back in plenty of time for the Premier League’s resumption after Christmas.