Denmark will be a mirror-image of Australia - Trent Sainsbury
KAZAN -- After a close look at flashy French artisans, Australia reckon their next World Cup assignment is like staring at their own reflection.
The Socceroos believe Denmark is a mirror-image of themselves in terms of game style: physical, pragmatic, team-orientated.
"They are quite similar to ourselves in the way they set up and the way they go about things," Australia defender Trent Sainsbury said.
"So it will be interesting to come up against a mirror."
The Socceroos travel to Samara on Tuesday with their World Cup ambitions resting on Thursday's clash against the Danes.
A loss will consign the Australians to an exit at the group stage, regardless of the outcome of their fixture against Peru the following Tuesday.
But a win, or even a draw, will keep flames flickering to become just the second Australian team to advance to the knockout stage of soccer's showpiece tournament.
The so-called golden generation of 2006 are the only Australian team to achieve the feat and coach Bert van Marwijk is leaving no stone unturned in trying to follow them.
Van Marwijk has changed Australia's routine from the 2-1 loss to France last Saturday, a fixture that kicked off at 1 p.m. local time.
In the days leading into the tournament opener, the Dutchman had the Socceroos train at the same time as the game.
The Danish fixture starts at 3 p.m. local time, so van Marwijk has adjusted training times to sync with that kick-off.
"We talked a lot about these things ... [so] they can perform the best and they feel the best," van Marwijk said.
"That means the times of breakfast and lunch and dinner change."
The Australians depart their base in Kazan on Tuesday.
"We travel two days before the game already to Samara so ... we already are in the rhythm of playing at three o'clock in the afternoon," van Marwijk said.
Sainsbury said Australia would confront a different style than experienced against Les Bleus.
"France were sitting back and waiting for that quick attack because of the players they had up front," he said.
"Denmark ... they attack more as a unit, try and play the ball through the middle."
That style is pretty much what the Socceroos will be aiming for against a Danish outfit boasting midfielder Christian Eriksen and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, two bonafide stars of the Premier League.
Schmeichel had a brilliant game in his nation's 1-0 win against Peru in their World Cup opener but his reputation counted for little among the Socceroos.
"Just because he has got a pair of gloves on doesn't mean he can stop every goal," Sainsbury said.
"They have got Christian Eriksen as their main ball player ... a lot of attacking qualities and defensively are very sound.
"Every game at a World Cup is going to be a massive challenge.
"Each team throws up different curve balls so we have just got to deal with it as best we can."