Germany vs Denmark
With the international summer season well on the way, this international friendly between Germany and Denmarkis next on the agenda, folks, and this is a game with plenty to get our teeth into.
Here at SBOTOPwe’re pricing the game as a Germany victory, but not odds on, and Denmark come into the game in red-hot form and scoring for fun, while Germany’s out-going head coach Joachim Low is struggling to find consistency in his former World Champions.
There will be plenty of world-class talent on show, and both teams will be keen to head to Euro 2020 in good form but, even in a friendly, there will be some pressure on the hosts to deliver.
Germany’s nightmare could return
Euro 2020 will be head coach Joachim Low’s last outing with Germany after he recently announced his retirement in the run-up to the tournament. But after an illustrious career in charge of his nation’s football team, Low has found things difficult in recent years.
After crashing out of the Russia 2018 World Cup at the group stage, the Germans could only manage two wins from six games in their UEFA Nations League campaign, which included a 6-0 spanking at the hands of Spain. They started their World Cup qualifying campaign with victories over Iceland and Romania but then slipped on a huge banana skin when they were beaten 2-1 by North Macedonia.
Low doesn’t have any shortage of talent to call upon. Chelsea’s Champions League-winning trio, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, and Antonio Rudiger have all joined the squad, and in Havertz, who scored the winner in Porto, Germany could have a real gem.
Still only 21, the former Bayer Leverkusen skipper took a while to settle into the pace of the Premier League, but he has put in some eye-catching performances in recent weeks and looks set to take the English league and international stage by storm.
Between the sticks, Arsenal’s Bernd Leno has had another good season and he will be pushing FC Bayern’s Manuel Neuer for a start, while Dortmund’s Mats Hummels provides the experience and stability in defence.
Bayern’s Serge Gnabry is likely to start up front; he has 15 goals in 20 internationals while Werner has 15 in 38 and the two could link up on Wednesday night.
Eriksen is back on song
Since his transfer from Spurs, Christian Eriksen has had a turbulent time at Inter Milan, but he was recalled by head coach Antonio Conte as Inter challenged successfully to wrestle the Scudetto from the grip of Juventus.
The creative midfield man seems to have rediscovered his mojo, and when he is in the groove he is one of the best in the business. Even at difficult times in his club career, the Dane has always delivered for his country, and with 36 goals from 106 internationals the former Spurs man is sure to feature prominently in the international friendly 2021 highlights.
Denmark’s goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is an inspirational figure too, and he’ll be in buoyant mood after helping Leicester City win silverware. He made a brilliant save to deny Mason Mount as the Foxes beat European champions Chelsea to lift the FA Cup for the first time in the club’s history.
Elsewhere in Kasper Hjulmand’s talented pool of players, centre-back and captain Simon Kjaer has been one of AC Milan’s standout players over the past two seasons, while
Spurs’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is still only 25 and has a strong presence in the middle of the park, allowing Eriksen the time and space to thrive.
Up front, the 23-year-old Nice striker Kasper Dolberg has seven goals from 24 international appearances. Beginning his career at Ajax, Dolberg has had a better than 1:3 goal ratio throughout his career and still has plenty of time on his side.
Denmark have become one of Europe’s best attacking teams over the past year, scoring 28 goals in a run of eight wins and a sole defeat, a 4-2 reversal to the top-ranked Belgians. They come into the game on the back of an impressive 4-0 victory over Austria which means they have taken a firm grip on their qualification campaign, with nine points from nine and four clear of the rest.
Denmark were European Championship winners in 1992 but their international achievements are dwarfed by those of Germany, who have won the Euros three times and the World Cup on four occasions, the last time in 2014.
But history counts for nothing in the run-up to Euro 2020 and when the two teams last met, in a friendly back in 2017, they played out a 1-1 draw.