Few teams enter the Euros this summer on such a high as Denmark, with boss Kasper Hjulmand having generated a string of positive results since their qualification for the tournament. Denmark are perhaps being overlooked in the Euros betting markets, but they could deliver an upset and go deep in this competition.
The likes of Christian Eriksen, Thomas Delaney, Kasper Schmeichel and Simon Kjaer are at the peak of their powers and Denmark are also blessed with an injection of exciting young stars too. Jonas Wind, Joakim Mæhle, Andreas Skov Olsen and Kasper Dolberg have all impressed in recent games for both their clubs and the national side.
Not that Denmark had it easy on their road of the Euros. They finished second in qualifying Group D, a point behind Switzerland but crucially three points ahead of the Republic of Ireland. The 1-1 draw with Ireland in the final game of qualifying was enough to see Denmark through. Remarkably, seven Danish players – including Eriksen (5) and Christian Gytkjær (4) – scored multiple goals in their Euros qualifying campaign.
Hjulmand favours a malleable 4-3-3 system that can switch to a 4-2-3-1 when required. He likes having 6ft 2in Wind up front with Eriksen behind the big man. It would be wrong to assume they are a long-ball team, however. Denmark plays expressive, dynamic football by bringing Martin Braithwaite, Youssef Poulsen and Kasper Dolberg into play. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Delaney do the midfield leg work and distribute the ball to the attacking men.
What’s more, Denmark have one of the best goalkeepers on the planet in Leicester shot stopper Kasper Schmeichel. Their only real weakness is not having a superstar, experienced centre forward, while left back is also an issue.
At the Euros, Denmark fans will expect their team to come second in Group B that features Finland, Russia and Belgium. The three Denmark Euro group fixtures all take place in Copenhagen, and they could face Wales in the last-16 in Amsterdam.
Historically the Danes recorded one of the biggest Euros upsets ever by beating Germany 2-0 in the 1992 final in Sweden. Since then, the Danes’ best finish was a quarter-final exit to Czech Republic in 2004, and they failed to even qualify for the Euros in ’08 and ’16.
Still, with home advantage in the groups, a diverse and exciting squad, and a manager who can adapt his tactics to suit the opposition, Denmark is considered a dark horse for the Euros this summer.
Kasper Schmeichel (c)
Jens Stryger Larsen
Andreas Skov Olsen