Denmark will use some tips from their stricken team-mate Christian Eriksen as they look to thwart Romelu Lukaku in Thursday's Euro 2020 Group B match against Belgium.
Kasper Hjulmand's side are back in action for the first time since the ordeal of witnessing Eriksen's sickening cardiac arrest on the turf at Parken Stadium just before half-time in last Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Finland. The Inter playmaker thankfully pulled through and is feeling "fine, under the circumstances" as he continues to recuperate in hospital.
But Hjulmand told reporters that Eriksen's insight into his San Siro team-mate Lukaku could prove invaluable. Lukaku scored twice in Belgium's 3-0 win over Russia, dedicating his opening goal to his close friend Eriksen. That made him the second Belgium player to score in at least two European Championships after Jan Ceulemans in 1980 and 1984.
"Due to Eriksen's absence, we will have to do things differently, but Belgium will have to be top to beat us." Hjulmand said. "We have to make sure that Lukaku is as uninvolved as possible. "Once he's on the ball, he can't be stopped. Eriksen – his team-mate at Inter – also pointed out that danger to us."
Belgium will be without Timothy Castagne after the wing-back suffered a fractured eye socket against Russia, although Kevin De Bruyne is back in training after a similar injury and Axel Witsel (Achilles) is expected to take a place on the bench. Aside from Eriksen, all members of Hjulmand's squad trained on Wednesday, although the coach conceded he would check on whether each felt available to play. "It will undoubtedly be an emotional evening for us, but also for Christian," he added.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Denmark – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Hojbjerg's tame second-half penalty against Finland was a moment to forget but the Tottenham midfielder will have to be on his game to shut down Belgium's lavishly gifted creative department.
Belgium – Kevin De Bruyne
If De Bruyne can instantly relocate the form that won him a second consecutive PFA Footballers' Footballer of the Year award then it could spell trouble for Denmark and joy for the prolific Lukaku.
Standout matches today