A fusion of two hated rivals, a culture of defying the odds and beating the set pieces … Liverpool will welcome Midtjylland FC at Anfield on Tuesday, so who are the rebellious Danes?
- Liverpool will play against FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on Tuesday evening
- The Danish side was formed only 21 years ago, a merger of two bitter rivals
- Part-time chairman Rasmus Ankersen gives the low point of the upstarts
Liverpool v FC Midtjylland is David v Goliath’s case and the Danish champions are ready to upset the odds.
Formed 21 years ago, innovation and willingness to defy the skeptics have enabled them to take huge strides.
Rasmus Ankersen, their part-time chairman who is also Brentford’s football director, takes care of it Sportsmail with a history lesson.
The English champions Liverpool will welcome FC Midtjylland in the Champions League on Tuesday
The Danish champions were drawn in the European group of the Reds with Atalanta and Ajax
How did Midtjylland come about?
It was a merger of two local rivals, who hated each other! Neither of them had any money, so in many ways it was a project doomed to fail.
But there is a strong culture here, like a strong desire to defy the odds.
Fans of traditional, historic clubs saw us as a plastic club.
FC Midtjylland has risen to the top on a small budget while at the same time beating away the contempt of the rivals
What is the secret to success without money?
It is very much in Midtjylland’s DNA to do things differently.
The throw-in coach (Thomas Gronnemark, who was hired part-time by Liverpool in 2018) is a good example of this.
We felt it was a very important part of the game, but few clubs spend enough time on it.
When evaluating performance, we try to look beyond the rankings. We try to improve the club, the way we try to do strategy, we have a goal.
The club is looking for alternative methods of achieving success as part of their culture
There are so many opinions and emotions in football that we really try to have an objective approach to how we look at things.
It’s about seeing how we can get better results by doing things differently.
One thing we’ve been really good at – and that’s been a big part of why we’ve won three championships – is our focus on set pieces. Maybe we are even the best in the world in them.
Can you win at Anfield?
When we played against Manchester United in the Europa League, we beat them at home (2-1 in February 2016) but then lost to them at Old Trafford. We played them at a time when they were not at their peak and took advantage of the situation.
It was pretty sensational that we managed to beat them.
We play against Liverpool which is the best they have been in many, many years and that is going to be a huge challenge.
We go there with a lot of humility, but we must also go there with a lot of confidence.
The Danes started their European adventure in the group stage with a 4-0 defeat to Atalanta