By Theo Ruizenaar
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Denmark coach Morten Olsen will happily settle for a draw when his injury-hit team take on the Netherlands on Monday in their World Cup Group E opener without striker Nicklas Bendtner.
"A draw would be a good result for us," Olsen told a news conference at the Soccer City stadium on Sunday. "But we have to see how the match develops to discover if that expectation is fair."
The Danes have been hit by several injuries during their four-week preparation and will miss Bendtner, who is recovering from a groin injury.
Asked about the Bendtner situation and whether he had become part of a game of bluff between Olsen and Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk, the Dane said: "If Van Marwijk said that he expects Bendtner to feature, I can say that I expect (Arjen) Robben to play.
"I don't know who is bluffing but I can tell you right now that Bendtner is not playing."
Dutch winger Robben is widely expected to miss the game too with a hamstring injury.
Besides Bendtner, Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson and Daniel Jensen are also carrying minor knocks and they trained separately from the rest of the squad. Both are rated doubtful for the match against the Dutch.
Olsen said the Dutch were favorites to win the opener as they had the better individual players from top clubs.
"We have prepared like we always do and we know already a lot of their players from our clubs," said Daniel Agger, who faces his Liverpool team mates Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel.
"But tomorrow we have to stand like a team. It is a bonus match against one of the favorites for the title and we are ready for a surprise," added Christian Poulsen.
Besides the Netherlands, Denmark will face Cameroon and Japan as their other opponents in Group E.
(Editing by Jon Bramley)