Euro 2020 Group B match preview: Denmark set for ‘emotional’ Belgium game today

Paris: Denmark host the world’s top-ranked side Belgium at Euro 2020 today with the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s collapse still raw.

Five days after Eriksen required emergency medical treatment to revive him at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, Denmark play Group B leaders Belgium looking to move on from a harrowing 1-0 defeat by Finland.

“It will be very emotional to return to the Parken, we expect to have incredible support from our fans and from the whole country,” said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.

Positive energy

“We have to be ready for that and use this energy in a positive way.”

Denmark fans will stage a minute’s applause in the 10th minute in support of Eriksen, who remains in a nearby hospital but is doing “fine” after suffering a cardiac arrest during his team’s opening game.

“What’s crazy is that the hospital where Christian is staying is not far from the stadium. He can see the stadium and he might even be able to hear everything that is happening there,” added Hjulmand.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice in their 3-0 win over Russia and shouted a message of support to Eriksen into a pitchside camera, said the players would kick the ball out of play for the minute’s applause.

Belgium's Thorgan Hazard, Belgium's Axel Witsel and Belgium's Thomas Meunier, center, exercise with teammates during a team training session at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Denmark, Wednesday, June 16, 2021 the day before the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Belgium. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) Image Credit: AP

“Several of our players have played with him. But tomorrow we’ll be there to win the game, which promises to be difficult,” said Lukaku, Eriksen’s team-mate at Inter Milan.

Belgium, who will advance to the knockout phase if they win, have Kevin De Bruyne back from the facial fractures he sustained in last month’s Champions League final.

“The programme is very clear for Kevin De Bruyne. He is medically fit, he’s got the green light to play in a match situation,” said coach Roberto Martinez.

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