MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 15:10:47| >> :120:6104:6104:
Jun 17, 2021 at 5pm UK at Telia Parken
DenmarkDenmark
1-2
BelgiumBelgium
Poulsen (2')
Wass (59'), Damsgaard (69'), Jensen (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Hazard (55'), De Bruyne (70')
Hazard (90+4')

Preview: Denmark vs. Belgium - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's European Championship clash between Denmark and Belgium, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A stricken Denmark prepare to resume Euro 2020 action on Thursday evening in Group B as they welcome Belgium to the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.

Kasper Hjulmand's men opened their campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Finland - which was overshadowed by the harrowing events involving Christian Eriksen - while Belgium eased to a 3-0 win over Russia.


Match preview

Denmark's Thomas Delaney, Andreas Christensen and teammates stand in front of Christian Eriksen as he receives medical attention at Euro 2020 on June 12, 2021© Reuters

Joel Pohjanpalo's winner may have settled the contest in Finland's favour, but the Huuhkajat's celebrations were muted following the distressing scenes during the opening 45 minutes in Copenhagen, as Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest while teammates, relatives, friends and fans looked on in horror.

The Inter Milan playmaker was "gone" according to team doctor Morten Boesen, but the swift actions of his fellow players, medics and referee Anthony Taylor saved his life, and Eriksen has since issued a relief-inducing update from his hospital bed as he awaits further examinations.

UEFA affirmed that both sets of players elected to continue that same evening - a testament to the professionalism and mental grit of these athletes - and Pohjanpalo would find a way past Kasper Schmeichel before Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg failed to beat Lukas Hradecky from 12 yards.

Hjulmand's men are therefore fighting an uphill battle to claim one of the top two spots in Group B, and one can barely begin to imagine what sort of headspace they must be in before they step foot onto the Parken Stadium turf again - versus the world's number-one ranked nation, no less.

The Danes' impassioned fanbase will certainly not expect Hjulmand's XI to be firing on all cylinders as they attempt to process the events of the past few days, and while Belgium will pay Denmark the utmost respect that they deserve, sentimentality will go out of the window for 90 minutes on Thursday.

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez pictured on June 6, 2021© Reuters

Star striker Romelu Lukaku paid a fitting tribute to his Nerazzurri teammate Eriksen after taking just 10 minutes to break the deadlock against Russia during their opening fixture, and the forward would go on to steal the show with a brace in a resounding 3-0 success.

Lukaku struck either side of Thomas Meunier's tap-in at the Gazprom Arena as Roberto Martinez's men started as they intend to go on, and the Red Devils have quickly risen to the summit in Group B after one game, and they are certainly expected to maintain that standing over the next week.

Martinez has now overseen a 10-game unbeaten run at the helm, and the opening-day victory over Russia represented his seventh Euros victory with Belgium; success over Denmark would see him steer level with all-time national record holder Guy Thys on eight wins in the competition.

A routine path to the knockout stages is no less than the Belgium faithful desire from their ever-hopeful squad, but with the likes of Lukaku, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all sharing close relationships with Eriksen, a football match will be the last thing on some of their minds this week.

Belgium marched to back-to-back victories over Denmark last year during their Nations League campaign, and the two countries are locking horns at a major tournament for the first time since Euro 1984, where Denmark recovered from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2.

Denmark European Championship form:
  • L

Denmark form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Belgium European Championship form:
  • W

Belgium form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W



Team News

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal against Russia at Euro 2020 on June 12, 2021© Reuters

Hjulmand will take a welfare check on his players before they prepare to go again in Copenhagen, but the Danish manager is reported to have a had a full contingent of players available in training this week, barring the recovering Eriksen.

The 29-year-old's spot in midfield will most likely be filled by Brentford's Mathias Jensen, but Hjulmand has options for change up top in the forms of Andreas Cornelius and Kasper Dolberg.

Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer were rightly lauded for their crucial actions and consolation of Eriksen's partner against Finland, but the latter - a good family friend of the Inter Milan playmaker - will need to be assessed after coming off just after the hour mark at the weekend.

Belgium talisman Kevin De Bruyne is recovering well from facial fractures and could make his return to the squad, but Timothy Castagne's Euros campaign is over after a nasty clash of heads with Daler Kuzyaev left him with almost identical injuries.

Veteran defender Vertonghen may not be risked for this meeting after taking a knock to the ankle, but Martinez has confirmed that Axel Witsel has battled his way back from an Achilles problem to make himself available.

Eden Hazard enjoyed a 20-minute cameo from the bench against Russia and could come into Martinez's thinking for a start, while Jason Denayer could find himself on the bench once again as Dedryck Boyata enjoys another run-out.

Denmark possible starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, Christensen, Maehle; Delaney, Hojbjerg, Jensen; Poulsen, Dolberg, Braithwaite

Belgium possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vermaelen; Meunier, Tielemans, Dendoncker, T.Hazard; Mertens, Lukaku, Carrasco


SM words green background

We say: Denmark 0-2 Belgium

Denmark fans will undoubtedly feel proud of their players no matter what the scoreline in the top left-hand corner reads on Thursday, and Hjulmand will do his best to rally his affected troops before such a daunting fixture.

Football will unite as one when Belgium pay a visit to Copenhagen, but Martinez's men must simply focus on the task at hand when the referee's whistle blows, and we do not expect Denmark to spring a surprise against the Red Devils.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Denmark vs Belgium

Denmark
14.2%
Draw
7.2%
Belgium
78.6%
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Belgium players celebrate scoring against Greece on June 3, 2021
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ChinaChina32211669
United StatesUnited States25292276
JapanJapan2071239
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Great BritainGreat Britain14181547
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Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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