Euro Betting: Denmark vs Belgium, 17th June
Group Stage | Group B | Copenhagen
Their Euros So Far
Two teams who have had two hugely contrasting starts to their Euro campaigns. Denmark suffered a huge shock when star player, Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during their opener against Euro debutants, Finland. Thankfully, Eriksen later stabilised in hospital, but losing a teammate in such a manner will no doubt have a huge mental impact on the Danish squad.
Things were then made worse when following the suspension of the match, it was later resumed and Finland nabbed a 1-0 win, whilst Denmark’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed a penalty. Such things are obviously minor in comparison to the Danes’ concerns for Eriksen, but the defeat is a big setback for their campaign, especially when their next game is against a formidable Belgian side.
Belgium were predictably efficient and ruthless in their opener, beating Russia 3-0, with a two-goal showing from Romelu Lukaku and a Thomas Muenier goal that made him the first substitute to score in the first half of a Euros match. The victory also equalled the Red Devils’ biggest Euro group stage victory.
Famously, the Danes were Euro winners in 1992, but they have now lost three successive games in the Euro finals, four out five losses in total, and just two wins in their last 11 Euro games. Whilst the outcome of this game in Copenhagen may seem inevitable on the surface, who knows how the Danes could galvanise themselves following the suffering of their excellent teammate, Eriksen. And, with great leaders like Kasper Schmeichel, Andreas Christensen, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, they are still a team that could pose a threat. Even to Belgium.
Past results between the two sides have been remarkably even, with both winning six, drawing three, and scoring a near identical number of goals. However, the most recent of those fixtures have been relatively comfortable victories for Belgium. Roberto Martinez’s men won their 2020 UEFA Nations League ties 2-0 and 4-2, with Lukaku again scoring a brace in the second game.
Prior to that, you have to go back as far 2000, when the nations played out an entertaining friendly in Copenhagen – also the venue for this game. The Belgians twice fought back in a thrilling draw that even saw a goal (albeit a penalty) from goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel, the legendary father of current Danish number 1, Kasper.
Both sides have also met several times for Euro qualifying games, with Belgium winning twice in qualifying for the 1972 European Championships, the Danes doing the same in qualifying for Euro 96 as holders, and they even met at the group stages of Euro 1984, where a 3-2 win for the Danes took them to the semi-finals at Belgium’s expense.
So, will Denmark fight back into knockout stage contention? Or will Belgium’s ‘golden generation’ prove too much for a weakened old foe?