Dark Horse Danes Can Make Fast Start

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Finland make their debut at a major tournament on Saturday but Denmark are heavily fancied to come through the Euro 2020 clash.

Denmark's Christian Eriksen during Germany against Denmark on Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck, Austria on June 2, 2021. (Photo by Kim Price/CSM/Sipa USA)

Denmark have been touted in some quarters as a team that may well go deep at Euro 2020 and they have an ideal opportunity to take early control of Group B when they take on Finland at 5pm.

With Russia and Belgium playing later, the Danes can lay down the first marker of the group ahead of perceived “tougher” games to come.

Without wishing to sound too patronising, Finland’s objective has already been achieved – reaching a major tournament finals for the first time in their history – and anything else is just gravy.

That could be dangerous for other sides as they have nothing to lose, but their squad is limited and it may just get found out at the highest level.

Home Comforts Key for Danes

Denmark are at home for a start and with fans allowed back in stadiums that could prove to be a bigger advantage than under normal circumstances.

The Danish Dynamite may have qualified for Euro 2020 unbeaten under Age Hareide, winning four and drawing four of their eight games, but they did make hard work of it, ultimately holding the Republic of Ireland to two draws to stay clear in second.

However, Kasper Hjulmand has since taken over the reins and he has got the Red and White playing a more progressive brand of football, which spells trouble for Finland.

That is reflected in the betting with a home win a strong favourite at 10/31, while a Finnish fairytale is on offer at 39/4, with the draw at 17/4.

Finland Limitations Could Be Exposed

Finland did well to finish second in their qualifying group – losing 2-0 and 2-1 to Italy who impressed on the opening night – as they won six of their ten games, losing the other four.

Their limitations though are perhaps highlighted by the fact they only scored 16 goals in qualifying – Armenia scored 14 in the same group while finishing fifth – and they are unlikely to be taking the game to their hosts.

Teemu Pukki is their chief goal threat and although he has been carrying an ankle injury of late, he made his return to the side as a substitute in their last warm-up match, so is expected to start.

However, that last match was a 1-0 defeat to Estonia, coming on the back of a 2-0 defeat at Sweden, and they could struggle to trouble Denmark with a home win to nil worthy of consideration at 20/29.

Eriksen Stands Out

Markku Kanerva is likely to set up his side to be hard to beat and try to limit the Danes’ attack, with a home win and under 2.5 goals priced at 7/4, but it may pay to side with the creative and attacking flair of a certain Christian Eriksen.

The Inter Milan playmaker has the confidence of a Serie A title behind him, while he finished as the top scorer for his country in qualifying with five goals.

The former Spurs star can be deadly at free-kicks while he also may be on penalty duty, and 21/10 on him scoring at any time seems a very tempting price.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Rob has around 20 years journalism experience and has written and commentated on the likes of football, cricket and rugby. He also has an impressive background in racquet sports and regularly provides content on the likes of tennis and badminton.

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