Denmark face a tough challenge against Belgium on Thursday, and not only in a sporting sense as they come up against the world’s top-ranked team. The Danish squad, and indeed the wider footballing world, is still reeling from Christian Eriksen’s shocking collapse on Saturday, with the Danes hoping to use that to spur them on against the Red Devils.
Where and when: Parken Stadium – 17 June, kick-off 17:00
Where you can see Denmark vs. Belgium: ITV
Last time: Youri Tielemens, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne were all on the scoresheet as Belgium beat Denmark 4-2 in a Nations League encounter last November.
Denmark v Belgium Predictions and Preview
Last year’s Nations League double-header between these countries was the first time their paths had crossed in two decades. Belgium also won 2-0 in Copenhagen, with Denmark facing an uphill struggle to take anything from this game and qualify for the last 16 of Euro 2020.
You could forgive Danish minds for being elsewhere after what they witnessed on the pitch in their opener against Finland. The horrifying situation concerning Inter Milan midfielder Eriksen appears to have had a happy ending, notwithstanding the threat to the 29-year-old’s playing career.
However, there’s no doubt the episode had a massive bearing on Denmark’s 1-0 defeat to Finland in their first match, which restarted some two hours after Eriksen collapsed and received CPR on the pitch due to a cardiac arrest.
Many of Kasper Hjulmand’s players were unfit to continue playing that game, and it remains to be seen how the Danish squad reacts here against Belgium. Record Red Devils goalscorer, Lukaku, certainly had a positive reaction to the news about his Inter club mate, netting a brace in the immediate aftermath of the incident in Belgium’s 3-0 victory over Russia.
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Belgium to win to nil
Belgium to win 2-0
Lukaku to score first
That win has put the Belgians into pole position in Group B, as was anticipated before the tournament began. No one could’ve imagined the circumstances, but the Red Devils are a class act and one of the favourites to win the Euros.
Roberto Martinez’s side are also the 11/10 favourites in these Denmark v Belgium predictions, as they look to seal their place in the knockout rounds with a game to spare. That would be most welcome for Martinez in terms of freshening up his team with an eye on going all the way to the Wembley final next month.
It could also be useful with players like De Bruyne, Timothy Castagne and Jan Vertonghen all fitness doubts, along with Axel Witsel. Eriksen will be a big miss for Denmark, who will also be without Robert Skov for this tough assignment.
The Red and White need to do their best to stay compact and deny Belgium the space they need to operate. The Danish Dynamite are usually well-organised and efficient as a team, but they are the 33/10 underdogs in the betting for this game. A draw would be a great result for the Danes, and that’s priced at 12/5.
One to watch for Denmark: Jonas Wind is an exciting prospect, with the 22-year-old Copenhagen forward netting three goals in eight international appearances so far in his fledgling career. He is 4/1 to add to his reputation by scoring anytime on Thursday.
One to watch for Belgium: Romelu Lukaku extended his record as Belgium’s top goalscorer in netting his 61st and 62nd goals against Russia. The Inter striker is set to win his 95th cap in this game, and is the 31/10 favourite to break the deadlock.
Long shot: Belgium beat Denmark by an aggregate score of 6-2 in their Nations League double-header last year. Taken as an average of 3-1 over the two games, the Belgians are 21/1 to win this game 3-1 as part of your Denmark v Belgium tips. With Lukaku scoring first, those odds rise to 91/1.