This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Denmark had a great opportunity to take control of Group D and improve their chances of qualifying for Euro 2020 – of which one of the host cities is Copenhagen – with a win over Georgia on Sunday, but they failed to deliver.
Their opponents had won one and lost three of their four fixtures before the visit of the Danes, but they ended up securing a goalless draw to keep alive their own hopes – albeit slim – of qualifying themselves.
It quickly became clear in the early stages that it was going to be a scrappy, well-matched affair, and it is at that point you look to the special players on the pitch to make a difference.
There is no question that Tottenham Hotspur star Christian Eriksen is the main one for Denmark given his exploits for club and country – he has 29 goals in 90 caps for his nation – during his career.
However, he failed to turn up despite the fact he should have had confidence from scoring two and assisting a further two in the comprehensive 6-0 win away at Gibraltar just a few days earlier.
According to SofaScore, the 27-year-old lost possession a remarkable 29 times against Georgia as he looked to make a difference, while he won just three of the seven on-ground duels he faced without having a shot on target.
The Spurs man, into the final year of his contract with the north London outfit, did show some glimpses of quality having made three key passes, but it wasn’t enough on a day when he looked to have the opportunity to take control of what was ultimately a poor encounter.
It is an all too familiar story with Eriksen too, who despite the clear quality and ability he has in his locker, does have a tendency to go missing on occasions – no Premier League goals until December 15 last term and no goals and one assist in a five-match winless top flight run in February and March of this year is testament to that.
In addition, his set-pieces – particular corners – were once again a disappointment on a day where they could have made all of the difference.
On viewings like this, you wonder whether Eriksen really would be that big of a loss for Tottenham if he does leave in January or next summer.