The collapse of Christian Eriksen in the previous outing really struck the world, and surely Denmark. They are not only losing their key man, perhaps the only star in the midfield. Kasper Hjulmand will have to work out to find the proper cover in his position. Their chance to progress is in danger and the way to capitalise it is even harder as they will be taking on Romelu Lukaku and Co, one of the strongest favourites in the tournament, at their home turf in Parken Stadium.
Both teams’ previous matches
Belgium sealed their first win while travelling to St.Petersburg. They hammered Russia 3-0 by Romelu Lukaku’s brace and Thomas Munier’s strike. Sbornaya was almost hapless to strike back. It was a dominant win for De Rode Deuvels.
Denmark, on the other hand, failed to optimise their home advantage and suffered a 0-1 defeat last weekend while hosting the EURO debutant, Finland. Their winning goal was scored through Joel Pohjanpalo’s header. Pierre Hojberg had a chance to salvage a point by a penalty but he failed to score.
Roberto Martinez would not plan to change his 3-4-2-1 formation. Inter Milan prolific striker, Romelu Lukaku remains the most dangerous forward they have. He would be supported by Thorgan Hazard who is likely to be pushed forward as a the left winger and Dries Mertens or his older brother Eden Hazard who could get a nod in the line up here.
Meanwhile, Kasper Hjulmand might need to consider deploying 5-3-2 or 4-4-2 to accommodate the missing Eriksen in the line up. The likes of Robert Skov and Daniel Wass could operate wide on both flanks and only leaving two names in the middle, Pierre Hojberg and Dortmund man Thomas Delaney. The front two role shall be occupied by Yussuf Poulsen and Kasper Dolberg or Andreas Cornelius as the targetman. Such approach could be useful for them to close down their opposition’s movement by sitting low block before switching to counter attack or relying on set pieces to score.
Players to watch
In Belgium, their stars such as Lukaku and De Bruyne are definitely indispensible in the starting XI. Some other notable names to watch are Youri Tielemans and Thorgan Hazard. Both are high profile figure in the squad. The former has had his stellar season with Leicester City while the latter is more versatile than his brother, Eden.
Without Eriksen in the starting XI, Denmark would have to count on more collective as well as effective system. Kasper Schmeichel is one key man in the team. Another one who could be given a bigger role is Hoffenheim winger Robert Skov. His versatility, if optimised, could help them secure the positive results.
Belgium vs Denmark Prediction
Simon Kjaer and Co should learn from England and Czech Rep, the last two teams which managed to beat Roberto Martinez’s side in 2020 and earlier this year. The combination of pragmatism, counterpressing to close down as little space as they have to initiate the attacking building plus Lukaku’s position in their backline and optimising the set piece scenario could be the key factor for Denmark’s campaign in this summer tournament. A draw would be still plausible here since the home side would be more motivated to play better for Eriksen.
According to the punters, although Belgium’s win market is still higher at 13/12,, whereas the draw result is at the value of 23/10. Kasper Hjulmand’s men are projected to win at 33/10.