Denmark are back at ‘Parken’ after the great fear. It was not a smooth start of the Euro 2020 Group B for Kasper Hjulmand, the Danish national team coach at his first great tournament. He now needs to put together the pieces on his team and prepare them for the most important game of his tenure against Romelu Lukaku´s Belgium.
Denmark vs. Belgium
Thursday, June 17, 2021 – 12:00 PM EDT at Parken Stadium
Returning to their home stadium it will be an unavoidable series of deja vus bringing Kjaer & Associates back to Saturday´s late afternoon when the football World stood still at Christian Eriksen’s fate. The happy ending still cannot erase the emotions that went through the Danish team in one of the darkest moments of their history. Until then, Denmark had dominated Finland and no one would argue over the fact they deserved to score at least one goal.
Truth has it that there were two games on the 12th of June: the one before the 42´ and the one after. Denmark did return on the field two hours later, but it was clear that it was not the same team any longer. The same Simon Kjaer, the Captain who took the lead in such a difficult situation, asked for a change; Finland scored on the first chance and talented Hojbjerg missed an equalizer from the penalty spot. The atmosphere in the Belgium camp is totally opposite.
Martinez´s side swallowed the Russian salad in few spoonfuls making it clear that the Russia 2018 atmosphere was just a memory for Cherchesov & Associates. All the accolades went to Lukaku who signed a personal brace helping his side to the easiest of the 3 points. Stressing the fact that this game would be easier because of all that happened would be indelicate and unfair, however, it would best describe what could be expecting us ahead.
It is hard to blame the tactical plan in a game like that: until the 42nd minute everything worked fine, and Denmark tactical superiority was indisputable. The number of chances created is a testimony that things worked and shall work again, however, Belgium are not Finland, with all due respect. Hjulmand’s main worry will be limiting Lukaku without forgetting all the other ones by keeping the blanket tight.
Who is going to take Eriksen´s role? There is not such a player in Hjulmand´s squad. Eriksen's flair is unique within the Danish, therefore anyone stepping up to the role will seem inadequate. Martinez might recover Kevin De Bruyne adding another ruthless element to his XI.
Everything lies in how Denmark will react now. Eriksen is safe and sound, sending positive messages to its team and announcing he might even go back to training soon. It can help but the first 15 minutes of the game will tell us what to expect from Kjaer & Associates. Will Belgium wait for Denmark to understand or hit the opponents as soon as possible before they even realize? This is still a competition, and Belgium´s target is to reach the qualification to the knock-out stage as soon as possible.
Belgium will indeed try to score fast and channel the game exactly in the direction they want. Lukaku has scored 2 and the third goal could come in this game and skyrocket the Belgian giant at the helm of the top scorers table. The options are two, one safe and one brave: Lukaku To Score – Yes (the safe one) Lukaku To Score as First – Yes (the brave one). If not feeling confident in staking all on individual performance, we have a go at Belgium scoring in the first half (Away Team To Score in First Half – Yes).
Free Soccer Pick: Belgium 1st Half Over 0.5 goals at -110 (1.91) with Intertops (Visit our Intertops Review)