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Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News


All eyes will be on Denmark as they play their first full game since Christian Eriksen’s collapse in Saturday’s Euro 2020 opener.

Eriksen had to be resuscitated on the pitch at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen after slumping to the ground during the first half of Denmark’s 1-0 Group B defeat by Finland.

Eriksen regained consciousness before being taken to hospital, where medics continue to work to identify what caused his cardiac arrest, while his team-mates prepare for Thursday’s fixture against Belgium at the same venue still processing what happened at the weekend.

But striker Yussuf Poulsen admitted the players had got to know each other better as a result of what they had been through together, adding: “This is going to make us stronger as a team. We’ve been able to show a lot of love, a lot of honesty and everyone felt like they were part of this big family.

“We all knew that we had this family. We have a great team spirit and we stand together, but experiencing something like that together makes you even stronger.

“It’s nice that people can just show their feelings and be 100 per cent honest about what happened and how they feel about it. It’s not everyone in your life you can share stuff like that with. A lot of players have got to know each other much better through this.”

Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand also added that the hospital treating Eriksen is so close to Parken Stadium that the midfielder will be able to hear everything during the game.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez revealed his players will pay tribute to Eriksen before the game as he continues his recovery. Denmark fans are also planning a standing ovation for Eriksen during the 10th minute of the game in honour of his No 10 shirt.

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Denzel Dumfries scored Netherlands’ late winner after the hosts were pegged back by Ukraine in Amsterdam

In Group C, there is already a battle brewing at the top as first and second – Austria and the Netherlands respectively – face off in Amsterdam.

Goal difference currently sees the Austrians leading the way, having won their first European Championship game against North Macedonia last time out. However, they will be without Marko Arnautovic, who has been suspended for insulting another player.

“It was bad news obviously,” Austria coach Franco Foda said. “Marco will be missing and we’ll miss him, but we must compensate. We had thought about putting him in the starting lineup, but now we have to rethink it but we will present a strong team.”

Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News
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Marko Arnautovic is suspended for Austria

The Netherlands edged past Ukraine in their opening game with an entertaining 3-2 victory. Asked what impression Austria had made on him, Frank de Boer answered: “A good one. They can play different systems from what I’ve seen. It’s a good team, lots of Red Bull [Salzburg] players. Then you know what happens: Volgassfussball [full gas football].”

Meanwhile, North Macedonia coach Igor Angelovski has insisted that the pressure will all be on Ukraine when the two nations meet on Thursday.

He said: “We came here to the European Championship with a goal of fighting for a place in the next stage, and that goal is still active. It’s still within our reach, because we have a match against an opponent who has zero points, like us.

Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News

First of all, we need to play our best game. We have our worked-out playing pattern and much will depend on our midfield – how they will move and how they will move the ball, the speed and precision of their passes. We are a team that loves to attack. Being clinical will be the key tomorrow. This is a team that deserves respect. They have character, they have outstanding leaders and a well-established playing system. They almost always play 5-3-2 and like to counter-attack. They are good fighters as well, so we don’t expect any gifts from them tomorrow.

Ukraine head coach Andriy Shevchenko on North Macedonia

“So it’s a kind of final for both of us, because the winner of this match will raise their chances of qualification to the next stage. We don’t feel a big pressure, because Ukraine is a national team that, if they fail, it will be a tragedy.

“The Ukrainians are a good team. They proved that in the match against Netherlands… eventually they lost the game, but they have good players who are part of big football clubs in Europe. But we also have excellent players who proved many times that they can play against anyone.”

Who’s playing today?

Group C: Ukraine vs North Macedonia; Kick-off 2pm (Bucharest)

Group B: Denmark vs Belgium; Kick-off 5pm (Copenhagen)

Group C: Netherlands vs Austria; Kick-off 8pm (Amsterdam)

Team news

Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News
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Kevin De Bruyne is set to return for Belgium after a facial injury in the Champions League final

Ukraine vs North Macedonia: Ukraine are set to be without winger Oleksandr Zubkov, who was substituted against the Netherlands with a foot injury. North Macedonia have no injury concerns, and could name the same XI that were beaten by Austria.

Denmark vs Belgium: Denmark are likely to check on the mental wellbeing of their players are they return to the Parken Stadium, but apart from Eriksen, the full complement of players will be available.

Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been given the all-clear to play following the facial injuries he suffered during the Champions League. Eden Hazard had an injury-plagued season at Real Madrid but was used as a substitute against Russia and showed some of his old sparkle in a 20-minute cameo.

Axel Witsel is set for a surprise return after tearing an Achilles tendon in January while playing for Borussia Dortmund. After undergoing surgery, he was told it would be nine months before he could play again, but Martinez said Witsel’s disciplined rehabilitation has allowed him to return way ahead of schedule.

Netherlands vs Austria: Austria forward Marko Arnautovic will be suspended for insulting a North Macedonian opponent. Arnautovic later apologised on Instagram for some heated words and said he was not a racist.

Frank de Boer confirmed on Wednesday that Matthijs de Ligt is fit and ready to feature for the Netherlands.

State of play

Group B: Belgium remain top of the group heading into their second game. Russia’s victory against Finland on Wednesday has seen them move into second, but another win for Roberto Martinez’s side against Denmark would put them in pole position to qualify as group winners. The Danes will also be hoping for their first points on the board.

Group C: Austria currently lead the group after beating North Macedonia in their opening fixture. But they face second place side, the Netherlands, on Thursday as the pair battle it out for top spot. Ukraine will be expected to add their first points too against minnows North Macedonia.

Players to watch…

Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News
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Romelu Lukaku scored twice for Belgium in their opening game

Romelu Lukaku: A player who needs little introduction, the Inter Milan forward has already announced himself on the Euro 2020 stage with a double against Russia in Belgium’s opening fixture. Lukaku has followed up a sensational season with Inter – winning the Serie A title and finishing as the league’s second-highest scorer – in superb fashion, and continues to be one of Belgium’s key players.

Lukaku is only the second Belgium player to score in at least two different European Championships, after Jan Ceulemans in 1980 and 1984. In fact, his total of nine goals at major tournaments (World Cup + Euros) is more than any other Belgian in history.

He has also been directly involved in 26 goals in his 19 games for Belgium since the end of the 2018 World Cup (22 goals, four assists). Indeed, during this run Lukaku has only failed to score or assist in three of those 19 appearances, one of which came against Denmark in September 2020.

Andriy Yarmolenko: As Lukaku is to Belgium, Yarmolenko is to Ukraine. The striker has been rarely seen at West Ham this season, testing positive for coronavirus before suffering a knee injury. But he is an ever-present for his country, captaining the side and kick-starting Ukraine’s ultimately short-lived comeback against the Netherlands.

Only current manager Shevchenko (48) has scored more goals for Ukraine than Yarmolenko (41) – a record that is well within his reach. The striker is looking to score in three consecutive matches for his national side for the first time since October 2016.

Today at Euro 2020: Denmark play again after Christian Eriksen collapse, Netherlands face Austria | Football News
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Goran Pandev scored North Macedonia’s first Euros goal

Goran Pandev: Completing the strikers set is North Macedonia captain Pandev. Already a legend at home, the 37-year-old wrote his name into history with his goal against Austria, becoming the first North Macedonian to score at a European Championships and the second oldest goalscorer in the competition’s history. He is the most likely to breach Ukraine’s defences again on Thursday.

Pandev has scored 20 more goals than any other North Macedonian player in history (38) and would become the oldest player to ever score in consecutive matches in the same European Championship tournament, five years older than the current record holder Rui Costa for Portugal at Euro 2004 (32 years, 87 days).

Key stats…

  • The only goalless draw between Denmark and Belgium came in their first meeting, in April 1922. Since then, their 14 encounters have produced 52 goals, an average of 3.7 goals per game.
  • Belgium have won seven matches under Roberto Martinez at the European Championships and World Cup finals combined – only Guy Thys (eight) has recorded more such wins with the Red Devils.
  • The last seven matches between the Netherlands and Austria have produced 30 goals, an average of 4.3 per game.
  • Four of Austria’s five goals at the European Championships have been scored by substitutes, including two in their 3-1 win over North Macedonia. Austrian substitutes have scored with four of their 11 shots on target at the Euros (36 per cent conversion).
  • Ukraine have lost each of their last six matches at the European Championship finals, the joint-longest run in the competition’s history alongside Yugoslavia (six straight defeats from 1968-1984).
  • All four of Ukraine’s goals at the European Championships have been scored in the second half, attempting 37 efforts at goal without success in the first half of matches. They are the only nation to play at least five matches at the Euros and never score in the first half of a match.

Also at Euro 2020…

Paul Pogba removed a Heineken bottle from the press conference table at Euro 2020, after Cristiano Ronaldo removed two Coca-Cola bottles from his line of sight earlier in the week.

The Frenchman, who put in a man-of-the-match performance in a 1-0 group stage win over Germany on Tuesday, was awaiting questions from the press.

Spotting the bottle of alcohol-free Heineken 0.0, Pogba – who has spoken of his Muslim faith previously – reached over and moved it out of sight.

Pogba’s performance in France’s Euro 2020 opener saw him crowned Star of the Match, for which he was awarded a star-shaped trophy sponsored by Heineken.

“The perfect way to start! Amazing team performance,” he tweeted, alongside a picture of himself smiling with the award.

On Monday, Portugal forward Ronaldo had moved two bottles of Coca-Cola off to the side at a press conference, before holding up a bottle of water and announcing “agua” the Portuguese word for water.

Greenpeace has apologised for the injuries caused by a protestor whose parachute landing did not go as planned before Germany’s game against France on Tuesday.

UEFA said several people were hospitalised when the man connected with overhead camera wires and caused debris to fall on the field and main grandstand.

Greenpeace spokesperson Benjamin Stephan said: “We apologise to the two persons who got hurt by accident in Allianz Arena and hope they will recover soon.

“Greenpeace stands for peaceful, non-violent protest. The safety of third parties and of course our activists is always our focus.

“The paraglider didn’t want to land in the stadium, he wanted to fly over at a safe distance and let a balloon float onto the pitch with a message to main sponsor Volkswagen to cut the production of climate-damaging diesel earlier. But we had technical problems during the paraglider flight.”

The protestor was led away by security stewards. UEFA called the action reckless and dangerous and said law authorities will take the necessary action.

What are the other home nations up to?

England and Scotland step up their final preparation for Friday’s showdown at Wembley, with both managers giving their pre-match press conferences.

Wales will be recovering from their thrilling 1-0 against Turkey ahead of their final group game against Italy next week.

What went wrong for Scotland – and what do they need to do to bounce back against England at Wembley?

After a 23-year wait, Scotland’s first match back at a major international tournament ended in defeat, with Steve Clarke’s side going down 2-0 to Czech Republic at Hampden Park.

We get reaction to the result and performance from former Scotland international James McFadden and Famous Tartan Army Magazine editor Iain Emerson, who joined Sky Sports News reporter Charles Paterson after the game for the latest Sky Sports Football Euros Podcast.

There’s debate and discussion about the chances which came and went for Scotland, the mistakes at the back, the impact of “world-class” Kieran Tierney’s injury – and whether Scotland can bounce back in the mouth-watering match-up with England at Wembley on Friday.

And finally… was Patrik Schick’s halfway-line strike better than Zinedine Zidane’s volley at the same stadium? Or McFadden’s goal in Paris?!

‘Adams was tackling a wall!’ The Boys of 96: England stars on Seaman’s save, Gazza’s goal and that celebration against Scotland

Mark McAdam has got the boys back together. The reporter has tracked down England’s stars of Euro 96 – and, ahead of England vs Scotland at Euro 2020, they tell us the inside story of the famous clash between the two teams at Wembley 25 years ago.

Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Gareth Southgate, Teddy Sheringham, Paul Ince and Stuart Pearce lift the lid on what it was like inside the England dressing room before that dramatic match, the key turning points in the contest, and how the victory ultimately propelled England to the semi-finals.

For more behind the scenes stories of England’s adventures at Euro 96, you can watch The Boys of 96 on Sky Sports News and the Sky Sports YouTube channel.





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