Saturday, 12 June 2021

EURO 2020: Match Preview: Denmark v Finland

 



This is the first meeting between Denmark and Finland at a major tournament (World Cup + European Championships). Their last encounter dates back to a 2-1 friendly win for the Danes in November 2011.

Whilst Finland are taking part in their first ever major tournament (World Cup + European Championships), this is Denmark’s ninth UEFA European Championships appearance and their first appearance since 2012. They won the tournament in 1992, which they only qualified for after Yugoslavia were expelled as a result of war in the Balkans.

Since winning the UEFA European Championships in 1992, Denmark have reached the knockout stages of the tournament on only one occasion (quarter-final in 2004).

Denmark have not scored more than two goals in any of their last 22 games at major tournaments (World Cup + European Championships). The last time they did so was in the round of 16 at the 1998 World Cup, when they beat Nigeria 4-1.

Denmark didn’t lose a single game in their last major tournament (W1 D3 at World Cup 2018) but were knocked out in the round of 16 by Croatia on penalties (1-1 a.e.t., 2-3 pens).

Finland became the first European team to qualify for a major tournament for the first time (World Cup + European Championships) since Albania and Iceland at Euro 2016 (later joined by North Macedonia). The former were knocked out in the group stages whilst the latter reached the quarter-final.

Finland won 18 points from their 10 Euro 2020 qualification matches; this is their best points return from a single qualification campaign since winning 18 points from 10 games during qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals. They finished third in their group on that occasion and failed to qualify.

The last time Finland won as many as six games in a single qualification group stage for a major tournament (as they did this time around) was back in the Euro 2008 qualifiers, when they won six of their 14 games.

Since the start of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers, Christian Eriksen has been directly involved in 39% of Denmark’s goals in competitive matches (Finals + Qualifiers + Nations League), scoring 23 and setting up a further seven (30 out of 77).

Teemu Pukki scored 10 goals in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, that’s eight more than any other Finnish player (Fredrik Jensen, 2 goals). This tally is the most ever scored by a Finnish player in a single qualification campaign for a major tournament (World Cup + European Championships).




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