Denmark v Belgium predictions: Determined Danes can slow down bouncing Belgians
Eriksen rallying cry can lift home side
Free Euro 2020 football tips, best bets and analysis for Denmark v Belgium in Group B on Thursday.
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Denmark or draw double chance
2pts 4-5 Hills
Denmark were understandably subdued in the second half of their 1-0 loss to Finland but they can play a lot better and can gain at least a point against Belgium, who will be tested far more than they were during their openin 3-0 success over Russia.
Mathias Jensen could make his first start of the tournament as a replacement for Christian Eriksen.
Axel Witsel and Kevin De Bruyne could be involved but Timothy Castagne is out and Jan Vertonghen is a doubt.
Denmark talisman Christian Eriksen has given a stirring message to his teammates from hospital by urging them to play for the whole country and their response could be strong enough to earn at least a draw against Group B favourites Belgium in Copenhagen.
Eriksen's match-winning capabilities were one of the main reasons Denmark were flagged up as potential pre-tournament dark horses and his absence presents a huge challenge to head coach Kasper Hjulmand.
Eriksen's probable replacement Mathias Jensen has similar qualities to the Inter star, bringing an assuredness in possession and the ability to play a defence-splitting pass.
Brentford fans have enjoyed watching the 25-year-old, who was a key component of the second tier's top-scoring side. And Jensen's vision should ensure there is a decent service into Denmark's front three which features pacy wingers Yussuf Poulsen and Martin Braithwaite and either Jonas Wind or Kasper Dolberg as the central striker.
Other teams at the Euros possess greater individual quality but Denmark have made strong progress under Hjulmand and finished second to Belgium in last year's Nations League A Group Two.
The Danes lost home and away to Belgium – 2-0 in Copenhagen and 4-2 in Brussels – but they were keenly-contested matches with a cumulative shot count of 19 to 16 in favour of the Red Devils.
Kevin De Bruyne wrapped up the scoring in the Belgians' 4-2 success and he could make his first appearance at Euro 2020 having had sufficient time to recover from facial injuries sustained in the Champions League final. However, he has not played for almost three weeks and may need time to ease his way into the tournament.
Roberto Martinez could be forced into two changes at the back with Timothy Castagne ruled out of the tournament with a head injury and Jan Vertonghen struggling with an ankle knock.
And the Belgian rearguard should be given a sterner workout than last Saturday when Russia were swatted aside 3-0 in Saint Petersburg.
Belgium hardly needed to get out of first gear against the Russians, who lacked energy and quality, and it will be hard to properly judge them until they have come up against better opposition.
Even without Eriksen, Denmark should provide a more meaningful test and could inflict the Belgians' first setback of the summer.
Denmark have lost just three of 29 fixtures since the 2018 World Cup.
Penalty taker Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Free-kick wizard Kasper Dolberg
Set-piece aerial threat Simon Kjaer
Card magnet Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Penalty taker Romelu Lukaku
Free-kick wizard Dries Mertens
Set-piece aerial threat Thomas Vermaelen
Card magnet Thomas Meunier
Venue Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
Fans allowed 25,000
Time Zone BST +1 hour
Weather Sunny, max 24C
FIFA rankings Denmark (10), Belgium (1)
Denmark or draw double chance
The Danes are a much better side than they showed in the 1-0 loss to Finland and can cause problems for Belgium, who are still waiting for key players Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne to achieve peak fitness.
Yussuf Poulsen to score anytime
The RB Leipzig forward popped up with the equalising goal in a 1-1 draw away to Germany earlier this month and looks the main threat to a reshuffled Belgium defence.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to be carded
There should be no shortage of commitment from the Danish players and the most likely to overstep the mark is midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who will be tasked with the responsibility of disrupting Belgium's fluid midfield.
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