Olsen tired of Bendtner criticism

Denmark head coach Morten Olsen is tired of hearing criticism of Nicklas Bendtner ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifying Group B meeting with Bulgaria.

Football News: Nicklas Bendtner.

The 24-year-old forward was one bright spark during the Danes' disappointing European Championship campaign, his brace in a 3-2 defeat to Portugal not enough as Olsen's side failed to progress from the group stage.

Arsenal have now allowed Bendtner to join Serie A champions Juventus on a season-long loan, but after playing only 10 minutes as a substitute for the Nerazzurri this season, concerns have been raised as to whether the tall frontman has the required match-fitness to lead the line in Sofia.

An angry Olsen told fyens.dk: "I will not stand here every day and comment on Bendtner's form.

"He is part of the Danish national team and we will use him as we see fit. He is just as important as everyone else."

Bendtner added: "My form is good. It is as it should be. I have been training well for a long time so I'm in good shape."

Lyuboslav Penev has promised that his Bulgaria side are more than ready to face the Danes.

The Bulgarians claimed four points from their first two matches, drawing 2-2 against Italy before beating Armenia 1-0.

Penev told the BGNES agency: "We respect all opponents from our group but we are ready and have the power to beat each one of them.

"However, that will only happen if we are 100% committed, starting off with the match against Denmark.

"The Danes are a strong opponent. There are no weak teams in our group, Malta included."

Malta coach Pietro Ghedin is targeting a positive display in the Czech Republic tomorrow [Friday] night.

He told the Times of Malta: "We believe in what we're doing and the squad has improved.

"We will try to produce another positive performance but we will also try to get a good result which will be a great thing for Maltese football."

Czech captain Tomas Rosicky is unavailable to national team manager Michal Bilek as the Arsenal midfielder continues to recover from an Achilles tendon injury picked up at the Euros.

Meanwhile, Italy's players were given a rousing reception ahead of tomorrow [Friday] night's clash at the Hrazdan Stadium.

Approximately 200 locals turned up at Yerevan airport wearing Italy, Roma and Juventus shirts and waving pro-Azzurri banners at Cesare Prandelli's men.

But Armenia head coach Vardan Minasyan knows where their true loyalties lie, telling the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Will they support Italy? That's up to them.

"Armenia fans are just like any others. If they come to the stadium tomorrow [Friday], and we win, I would advise you to go and watch how they celebrate in Yerevan's city square."

Prandelli's Italy reached the Euro 2012 final in Kiev, only to lose 4-0 to world champions Spain, but the Azzurri will be at full strength tomorrow [Friday] night.

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