Denmark will take on Belgium in the UEFA Euro 2020 Group B Match on June 17 at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Denmark’s opening match in the European Championship against Finland quickly turned into a nightmare. Despite having the upper hand for most of the game, tragedy struck when star midfielder Christian Eriksen suddenly collapsed on to the pitch mid-game. The scenes that followed next will continue to haunt the world of football for a long time.
Medics had to perform CPR on Eriksen as his teammates formed a human shield around him. Silence fell over the entire stadium as both Finnish and Danish fans had their heads in their hands. Fortunately enough, due to quick medical intervention by the paramedics and alertness shown by the referee and the Denmark players, Eriksen regained consciousness and he had to be stretchered off the pitch and taken to a nearby hospital where his conditions stabilized.
Christian Eriksen’s Inter Milan teammate and Belgium ace forward Romelu Lukaku paid his tribute to the midfielder after scoring against Russia just a few hours later. Opening the scoring in the match, Lukaku ran to the cameras and said, “Stay strong Chris! I love you.”
Lukaku, in pristine form, would score again in the 88th minute with Thomas Meunier scoring in between as Belgium rounded off a flawless 3-0 win over Russia in their first match of Euro 2020.
Belgium currently lead the Group B table after three points from the first match. Denmark are third following their opening day loss against Finland.
DENMARK’S FORM IN EURO 2020
The gravity of the Eriksen incident left a clear mark on all the Denmark players who had to witness the scene unfolding very closely. They agreed to carry on with the game following updates that Eriksen was recovering positively in the hospital.
However, the trauma of it all left a clear mark as several Danish players were seen crying even during the second-half warm-up.
In the end, the decision to resume the game against Finland might have been a bad one and the players were in no state to play football. This reflected in the case when Kasper Schemeichel failed to save Pohjanpalo’s header aimed straight at him and when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed from the penalty spot, leading to a 0-1 loss against Finland.
It is unclear whether the Denmark players would be up to the task mentally in their remaining group stage matches at Euro 2020.
Form guide (last five matches): L-W-D-W-W
DENMARK’S PROBABLE TACTICS AND LINEUP AGAINST BELGIUM
Much of the Denmark attack manifests along the wings with the help of RB Leipzig’s Yusuf Poulsen and Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite. Both of them can use their pace to good advantage and have an eye on the players in the box. Braithwaite can also swap positions with the striker and play as an out-and-out number 9 who stretches the defence.
Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will be responsible for winning the midfield battles. Hojbjerg is expected to hold the line and screen his defence while Delaney will be searching for control of the game.
Andreas Christensen and Simon Kjaer form the bedrock in the defence ahead of the reliable goalkeeper in Kasper Schmeichel. Denmark usually deploy a 4-3-3 formation, but can also switch to a 4-2-3-1.
Denmark Probable Playing XI (4-3-3): Kasper Schmeichel, Daniel Wass, Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer, Joakim Maehle, Thomas Delaney, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jensen, Martin Braithwaite, Jonas Wind, Yusuf Poulsen
BELGIUM’S FORM IN EURO 2020
Belgium had the perfect start to their Euro 2020 campaign by beating Russia 3-0 in the first match. Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring early in the match to give Belgium the upper hand. They then capitalized on that advantage and added another through Thomas Meunier in the 34th minute.
Surprisingly, the Russian players looked pretty lethargic during the match and were unable to press high or keep up with the intensity of The Red Devils. This is in stark contrast to their exemplary performances from the 2018 World Cup when the side ran for 90 minutes straight.
The second half provided more of the same and Lukaku scored another goal at the very end to complete a dominant and easy win for the side, staying true to the bold prediction that they could win the title this time.
Form guide (last five matches): W-W-D-W-D
BELGIUM’S PROBABLE TACTICS AND LINEUP AGAINST DENMARK
Manager Roberto Martinez will probably tweak a few things against Denmark. Romelu Lukaku leads the lineout front and he has been in scorching form all season for Inter and hebegan Euro 2020 on the front foot as well. Belgium also look threatening with Yannick Carrasco dribbling and going past players on the left.
They have a balanced and efficient midfield with Youri Tielemans controlling tempo and breaking lines and Leander Dendoncker screening the defence. Timothy Castagne and Thorgan Hazard offer width and penetration. The back three of Alderweireld, Boyata and Vertonghen acts as a cohesive unit and needs no change.
Belgium Probable Playing XI (4-2-3-1): Thibaut Courtois, Toby Alderweireld, Dedryck Boyata, Jan Vertonghen, Timothy Castagne, Leander Dendoncker, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Yannick Carrasco