Denmark vs Finland – Euro 2020 Preview
Denmark won the Euro’s in 1992 and get their campaign underway here against a side who have qualified for their first ever major tournament in Finland. Denmark went unbeaten in their qualifying campaign but they only finished 2nd in their group with 4 wins and 4 draws. They recently held Germany to a 1-1 draw and anything but a win in this opening game will have to be seen as a disappointing result for Denmark. Familiar names such as Kaspar Schmeichal (Leicester), Jannik Vestergaard (Southampton), Pierre-Emille Hojbjerg (Spurs), Christian Eriksen (Inter) and Martin Braithwaite (Barcelona) are some of the players who will be hoping they can go some way towards emulating their 1992 countrymen. Manager Kasper Hjulmand has been in charge for 13 games and in that time he has won 9, drawn 2 and lost 2.
Finland have a huge task ahead of them, on top of this being their first ever major tournament, they play the number one ranked side in the world Belgium, plus they also play Denmark in Denmark and Russia away in Russia. In qualifying they scored 16 goals and conceded 6, which was a pleasing defensive effort. They come into this game having lost their last 3 games, but the return from injury of Teemu Pukki (Norwich) is where they will largely be pinning their hopes. Pukki has proven himself to be deadly in front of goal at Norwich, both in The Premier League and The Championship, though the big question that remains is how are they going to create opportunities for him when they take on better nations.
The referee for this game is Anthony Taylor (England). This season he has taken charge of 36 games, giving 111 yellow cards and 4 red cards, for an average of 3.08 yellow cards per game and 0.11 red cards per game. In his career he has taken charge of 341 games, where he has given 1180 yellow cards and 53 red cards, an average of 3.46 yellow cards per game and 0.16 red cards per game.
I see this being a relatively straight forward task for Denmark. With their squad fresh and playing at home, this really is a game they have to win if they have any hopes of causing any king of impact at this years tournament. The problem Finland have is with their star player being a striker, they need to find a way to get the ball into him in front of goal, and I feel this is a Denmark midfield that can cut off all supply lines and control the game. Finland showed in qualifying they are no mugs defensively, but I see this being a pretty routine win for Denmark 2-0 or 3-0.