Denmark’s run through Euro 2020 is one of the stories of the summer, and after vanquishing Wales in style they play Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.
The Danes won the European Championship in 1992 against the odds, but given their players witnessed Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest on pitch in their opening game another triumph would surely top it.
The Czechs are buoyant though after springing a surprise against Holland with striker Patrik Schick – who scored one of the goals of the tournament against Scotland – finding the net again.
When is it?
The third Euro 2020 quarter-final is on Saturday 3 July.
What time is kick off?
The game gets under way at 5pm BST.
Where is it being played?
This quarter-final will be held at the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan.
What TV channel is it on?
Live television coverage begins at 4.15pm on ITV1. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return to follow all the action on our dedicated live blog with Will Magee.
What is the team news?
Denmark head coach Kasper Hjulmand’s decision to push Andreas Christensen into midfield proved a masterstroke against Wales but could return to the 3-4-3 system which has served them well in the absence of Eriksen. Daniel Wass missed the Wales match through injury, replaced by Jens Stryger Larsen at right wing-back, but is pushing for a return. The Danes also coped without forward Yussuf Poulsen but he too could be back. Captain and key defender Simon Kjaer went off with a muscular problem but should be fit to start.
For the Czechs, left-back Jan Boril returns after suspension. Skipper Vladimir Darida and Jakub Jankto started the Holland victory on the bench, so manager Jaroslav Silhavy must decide whether or not to recall them or stick with what worked.
How have both teams fared so far?
Denmark suffered the Eriksen ordeal in an opening game defeat to Finland before playing well in defeat against Belgium where they were undone by some sensational play from Kevin De Bruyne and co. The fact four third-place teams qualified for the knockout stages gave them a chance of progression, and they took full advantage with a thumping 4-1 win over Russia in the final group game. They picked up where they left off in the last-16 against Wales, scoring four again as they picked Rob Page’s side apart. Kasper Dolberg scored twice in Denmark’s win over Wales CREDIT: Shutterstock
Czech Republic ruined Scotland’s return to tournament football with a 2-0 win at Hampden Park, with Schick scoring a superb header and then from the halfway line. They shaded a 1-1 draw against Croatia, before Raheem Sterling’s header condemned them to a 1-0 loss at Wembley. They were underdogs in the last-16 against Holland, but delivered a strong team performance and took advantage of Matthijs de Ligt’s red card.
Who will they play in the semi-finals?
The winner of this tie will play England or Ukraine in a semi-final at Wembley. England vs Ukraine follows this game at 8pm on Saturday night.
What are our writers saying?
Mike McGrath has the background on Czech Republic’s goalscoring hero Schick:
Schick failed two medicals ahead of a proposed move to Juventus and a heart problem was uncovered. It looked like his progress in Italy was being halted after starting well at Sampdoria, but two seasons in Germany has dispelled any uncertainty.
Thom Gibbs breaks down Schick’s wonder goal against Scotland in a tragedy of five acts for David Marshall:
David Marshall didn’t even try to save it, just ran back despairingly towards the goal as it passed over his head like a difficult joke.
Oliver Brown writes that the reaction of Kjaer and Eriksen’s Denmark team-mates was the highest form of team spirit and sporting comradeship:
It took mere seconds for Kjaer to suppress the shock of seeing his friend prone on the turf for him to summon the initial medical help. When the trauma of these sights eventually subside, it will be to the Milan centre-back that one of the most significant debts of gratitude is owed.
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer CREDIT: Shutterstock
What are the odds?
- Denmark 21/20
- Czech Republic 3/1
- Draw 9/4
What is our prediction?
Denmark have the bit between their teeth, and have one of the most solid defensive foundations in the tournament: Kasper Schmeichel in goal; Christensen, Kjaer and Jannik Vestergaard at the back; Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg shielding them in midfield. Mikkel Damsgaard, 20, looks a fantastic prospect in attacking midfield. We think they will have too much for the Czechs.