Wales meet Denmark in the first last 16 tie at Euro 2020, with both sides being pretty happy with how the draw has played out for them. The winner of this tie will be playing Holland or Czech Republic for a place in the semi finals, and i feel if you would have offered both teams this passage at the start of the tournament they would have snatched your hand off.
In their 3 group games Wales scored 3 goals, conceded 2 goals, had 28 shots with 10 being on target, they had an average possession of 33.66%, were given 5 yellow cards, 1 red card and took 12 corners.
Denmark in their 3 group games scored 5 goals, conceded 4 goals, had 59 shots with 21 being on target, had an average possession of 60.66%, were given 4 yellow cards, no red cards and took 18 corners.
The referee for this game is Daniel Siebert (Germany), this season he has refereed 33 games, giving out 121 yellow cards and 2 red cards, for an average of 3.67 yellow cards per game and 0.06 red cards per game. In his career he has taken charge of 177 games, awarding 682 yellow cards and 22 red cards, an average of 3.85 yellow cards per game and 0.12 red cards per game.
As already stated this is a really kind draw for both sides. The fact that they have ended up in the opposite sides of the draw from so many big names like Belgium, Portugal, Italy, France and Spain is a blessing, and whoever wins this game will go into their next game with genuine hopes of reaching the semi finals. There is no doubt Denmark are everyone’s second team at this tournament given what happened in their opening game, and at the last Euros Wales found themselves as the likeable underdogs who surprised everyone by reaching the semi’s, and both sides will have hopes of doing something special. I see this being quite a nervy game, both sides will know what’s at stake and that an opportunity like this really doesn’t come around very often, particularly an opportunity that they will both feel they can take. The bookmakers (All prices taken from Skybet) have Denmark priced up as strong favourites with them 2/5 to progress to the next round. Wales are 7/4 to make it into the quarter finals and a big price of 4/1 to win in 90 minutes. I see this as a very tough game to call and feel the bookmakers are being far too harsh on this Wales team. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey add a touch of world class talent to this Welsh side, with the pace of Dan James always a threat as pure out and out pace is one of the hardest things to defend against unless you are willing to sit deep all game, which is something I don’t think Denmark will be willing to do. I see this as a real 50/50 flip of the coin game, so a strong case can be made for taking the odds on Wales which appear generous. Denmark were impressive in the first half against Belgium and in their last group game against Russia, but I don’t see Wales being as unorganised as that Russia team were defensively. This is a Wales side who know what they are, they won’t try and break teams down playing perfect football, they are willing to go direct and take advantage of set pieces, and with the pace of Dan James and Gareth Bale they always have an out ball where they can play the ball down the line and let their pacey attackers chase it down, often leading to defenders or the goal keeper having to clear the ball out of play which gives Wales field position. I would not be surprised to see the Denmark goal keeper Kasper Schmeichel pick up a booking as a result of this tac tic. He is a keeper who likes to take control of situations and be a leader, and I think that could see him come rushing out of his box at some point and if he even gets it slightly wrong, the pace of James or Bale will see them get to the ball first and could easily result in him bringing them down and picking up a card. I see a game that goes to extra time and most likely penalties, where the result is a 50/50 call, so I would side with the generous odds on Wales to eliminate Denmark and progress to the last 16.
The best bets on this game are (All prices taken from Skybet)
Wales to win the tie (Inluding extra time and penalties) – 7/4
The match to go to penalties – 5/1
Kasper Schmeichel to be carded – 11/1