UEFA Euro 2020 Match Preview: Denmark Vs Finland; Finns to Make Debut in European Championships
DENMARK VS FINLAND
It is the battle of the Scandinavian nations in Euro 2020 as Denmark takes on Finland on the first matchday of the continental tournament. Both the sides are looking to usurp the heavyweights in the group – Belgium and Russia – and a win would be the perfect way to start for them in the quadrennial tournament.
This will be the first meeting between these two sides since 2011 and Denmark will be hoping to win as they have lost only two of their last thirteen matches- both times to fellow Group B side Belgium.
However defeat for either side would mean an uphill task for them as they would have to work hard for points against Belgium and Russia in their remaining matches. FootTheBall takes a look at how both teams stack up ahead of their much anticipated match in Copenhagen.
Denmark are without any serious injury concerns ahead of their opener in Euro 2020 on home soil. Kasper Hjulmand can call on the services of all of his players for their fixture in Copenhagen.
Denmark probable starting line-up (4-3-3) : Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, Vestergaard, Maehle; Eriksen, Hojbjerg, Delany; Olsen, Poulsen, Braithwaite
Finland likewise are without any major headaches in terms of the players they can bank upon to start in their debut match in the European Championships.
Finland probable starting line-up (5-3-2) : Joronen; Granlund, Toivio, Arajuuri, O’ Shaughnessy, Raitala; Kamara, Schuller, Kauko; Lod, Pukki
For the Danes, the game changer is none other than Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen who will undoubtedly be orchestrating the proceeding from the middle of the park in the Danish capital for the home side.
He was a dominant presence at the San Siro this past season as Inter clinched their first ever league title in more than a decade, and he will have to be at his scintillating best if the Danish camp aspires to qualify for the knockout stage this summer.
On the other hand, the shining light for the Finns will obviously be the Norwich City forward Teemu Pukki who is coming on the back of a stellar season for the Canaries in the Championship.
He got on the scoresheet an incredible 26 times and was also present to assist his teammates whenever the need arised – registering 3 assists in the English second division for Norwich City.
For his country too he has been in incredible form recently, scoring 3 goals in their last 2 competitive matches including a last-gasp penalty to earn a point in the Finns’ match with Eastern European side Ukraine.
As such he will be tasked with leading the Finland team from the front, quite literally, if they hope of registering a debut win in the European Championships.
Denmark enter this match as strong favourites ahead of Finland and will be looking to earn a crucial win in their easiest possible match in the group stage to get a headstart in their race with the Finns.
Teemu Pukki and company will, meanwhile, be looking to cause an upset and earn all three points on Danish soil. FootTheBall’s prediction: Denmark 2-1 Finland