Group B will take center stage tonight at the Euros with heavyweights Belgium facing Denmark Parken Stadium in Copenhagen.
The Belgians had the perfect start to the campaign following their cruising 3-0 win over Russia. They were on point with their football and barely gave their opponents a chance to respond.
Romelu Lukaku continued his fine season with a brace in the opening match while Thomas Meunier scored the other goal to complete the win.
The only cause of concern for the Red Devils is the injury sustained to Timothy Castagne, who is effectively ruled out of the tournament with a head injury.
On the other side of the coin, lies the return of ace playmaker Kevin De Bruyne. The Manchester City star has been ruled fit to play against the Danes after healing from the orbital bone fracture he sustained in the Champions League final.
The spotlight is on yet another Belgian starlet as well in the form of Eden Hazard, who enjoyed a cameo off the bench against Russia. The winger has been far from his best since his departure from Chelsea with injuries playing spoilsport in his tenure with Real Madrid so far.
The quarter-finalists from the previous edition also fret over the fitness of experienced campaigner Jan Vertonghen. The center-back was taken off in the second half after he appeared to suffer an injury to his ankle. The Belgians also have Axel Witsel at their disposal after the defensive midfielder completed his recovery from an Achilles problem. While he is not expected to start in the game, he will be a handy asset if the team needs to protect a precarious lead.
Roberto Martinez is not likely to risk the veteran, so a change in the back three seems imminent. Thomas Vermaelen, who had replaced the injured defender, seems the most viable candidate to start as well.
Leander Dendoncker might also be shifted to the bench to make space for De Bruyne. Belgium will seal a qualification to the round of 16 if they win this clash.
The Danish contingent suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Scandinavian nation Finland in their opening game. However, Finland’s famous victory will only be recounted in the future as a tale where football stood as more than just a game.
Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest sent the football world into shock and Denmark were allegedly forced to finish the fixture amid uncertainty over the player’s life.
Denmark were solid for most of the encounter but Finland managed to seize an opportunity and score off their only shot of the game. Pierre Emile Hojberg’s missed penalty towards the end of the game did not do them any favours as well.
After failing to register a point off arguably their easiest assignment of the group, the Danes are under great pressure to make something through the remaining two matches in the group stage.
They are themselves plagued with injury issues with Eriksen leading the case. Their skipper Simon Kjaer, emerging as a hero during the crisis, might also be not fully fit after coming off the field at the hour mark last week.
In an added sense of spirit, the teams will kick out the ball in the 10th minute in honour of Christian Eriksen.
Waging Odds: Denmark (4.20) vs Belgium (2.00) (Draw 3.40)
Denmark are the underdogs and are priced at 4.20, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹420.
Belgium are priced at 2.00 and are the favourites. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹200 if they come out as winners.
The odds for a draw are placed at 3.40. Betting ₹100 on them will earn you ₹340 if the fixture ends all level.
While the squads look mismatched on paper, don’t expect Denmark to bow down easily with the added element of survival now in the picture.
Despite the added drive, the Denmark outfit are unlikely to topple the Red Devils. Expect Lukaku to breach defences once again as Belgium come through as winners by a 2-1 margin.