Euro 2020 surprise performers Czech Republic take on the feel-good story of the tournament Denmark in the third of four quarterfinals today. The Czechs are led by Patrik Schick’s 4 Euro goals and West Ham’s Tomas Soucek. The Danes have shocked the world, coming together as a team in the wake of captain and talisman Christian Eriksen’s scary on-field medical emergency. Mikel Damsgaard has shouldered the creative load admirably, and Kasper Dolberg, starting in place of the injured Yussuf Poulsen, netted a brace in a 4-1 drubbing of Russia.
I’m expecting a relatively open match. Both countries are playing with house money, so to speak. They’ve both well exceeded pre-tournament expectations, and one will make the semifinals (because that’s how this works). That’s the beauty of tournament football — anything can happen, especially once you reach the knockouts. It’s been refreshing to see countries other than the traditional powers make runs, and I’m sure their fans, who usually see them go out in the group stages, are enjoying every second of it.
My head says that the Czech Republic are going to edge Denmark out today, but my heart can’t pick against the Danes. The Czechs structured, stifling setup has done well limiting opposition chances, and they’ve found success countering / attacking directly. Denmark just has that magic, and even though Kasper Schmeichel hasn’t been at his very best, he’s absolutely capable of having a blinder that singlehandedly wins a match.
Should be a good one.
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Czech Republic - Vaclik, Boril, Kalas, Celustka, Coufal, Soucek, Holes, Sevcik, Barak, Masopust, Schick
Denmark - Schmeichel, Vestergaard, Kjaer, Christensen, Mashle, Delaney, Hojbjerg, Stryger Larsen, Damsgaard, Dolberg, Braithwaite