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Denmark will be hoping to get off to a fast start
Denmark will be hoping to get off to a fast start

Group B: Denmark vs Finland, kick-off 5pm (UK time, BBC1)

Denmark's clash with Finland probably isn’t high on the list of matches to watch for most neutrals — but it has the potential to be a classic.

The two go head-to-head at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium, where the Danes will be looking to make home advantage count against their underdog opponents.

Read on as we examine why this game is the perfect storm for a vintage encounter.

No pressure

Finnish football fans will be delighted to have finally qualified for an international tournament.

This is their first appearance at a European Championship and there is very little pressure on them.

Supporters are happy just to see their team at this level and the players are pleased to be making history.

They recently beat France 2-0 in a friendly, offering a glimpse at what the Eagle-owls can do on their day.

The freedom of not having the weight of expectation on their shoulders could give the Finns an edge in what will be a remarkably high-pressure situation for many of their more illustrious opponents.

Denmark the dark horses

Christian Eriksen is part of an array of attacking talent in the Danish side
Christian Eriksen is part of an array of attacking talent in the Danish side

The Danes are not one of the favourites to win Euro 2020 — but then again, neither were they at the beginning of their victorious 1992 campaign.

Under manager Kasper Hjulmand, Denmark have been increasingly offensive in their style.

During his time in charge, the team have beaten England, drawn with Germany, won nine of their last 11 games and netted 14 times in three World Cup qualifiers.

Hjulmand has managed to strike a balance that allows the attacking talents of Christian Eriksen, Robert Skov, Martin Braithwaite and Kasper Dolberg to start in the same line-up, all while ensuring they are not exposed defensively.

Denmark have kept four clean sheets in their previous five outings, scoring 17 in the process.

History favours the Danes

Denmark and Finland have faced each other plenty of times throughout history.

The former have enjoyed the most success in this clash, winning 38 of the 59 matches and losing just 11.

There was even a spell between 1967 and 1996 that saw Denmark avoid defeat in all meetings with their Nordic neighbours.

Their last five meetings have been a little more even, though.

Denmark have won two, Finland claimed a victory and there have been two draws.

Does age really matter?

Experienced forward Teemu Pukki continues to produce the goods for Finland
Experienced forward Teemu Pukki continues to produce the goods for Finland

Finland have one of the oldest squads at Euro 2020.

Normally, this could be viewed as a potential negative after a gruelling season — but the fact this is their debut at an international showpiece might add a much-needed spring in their step.

Legs may be heavy but the mind will be focused on making history and this could give them an advantage over more well-versed competitors.

A sign of things to come

If Finland are able to claim a scalp, many will start to take them seriously. A win would make them favourites to escape the group along with Belgium.

This is by no means a make-or-break match for either side but there is an opportunity for one of them to make a statement.

Are Denmark the real deal? Can Finland prove they are not just there to make up the numbers?

This evening’s game will go a long way towards providing us with some answers.

Tags

European ChampionshipFinlandDenmark

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