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Soccer-Confident Denmark look to move on against Serbia at Euro 2024

By Thomson Reuters Jun 23, 2024 | 7:01 AM

By Michael Kahn

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – Denmark head into their final Euro 2024 group match on Tuesday full of confidence knowing that victory will propel them into the knockout round, while Serbia hope to build on a last-gasp draw against Slovenia that kept their tournament hopes alive.

The Danes have had success under Kasper Hjulmand, making the Euro 2020 semi-finals and playing eye-catching football, including in the 1-1 draw with England after they fought back to level and showed a tenacity the favourites failed to match.

“I’m not disappointed with the result but it was clear that there was more to this match,” Hjulmand said. “We play as Denmark should play. This is how we are. We play with both fire and passion.”

That result left Denmark second in Group C on two points, two behind leaders England, who play third-placed Slovenia in their final game, and one ahead of bottom side Serbia who they face at the Munich Football Arena.

Denmark will progress if they beat Serbia but they would go out if they lose and Slovenia do not. If the Danes and Slovenia both draw, they be split for second and third place via overall goal difference and then other factors.

The Danes will look to the Manchester United duo of Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen, who netted in the opening 1-1 draw with Slovenia three years after he suffered a cardiac arrest playing at the last tournament

The team have got a boost from the tens of thousands of Danes who have streamed across the border into Germany but Serbia will also have a strong contingent cheering them on.

More important for Serbia is rediscovering the quality they displayed during the second half against England and one or two attacking moments versus Slovenia in a side full of quality individual players.

A team with the likes of Luka Jovic, who came off the bench to score the last-gasp equaliser against Slovenia and is one of 13 players in the squad from clubs in England, Germany, Italy or Spain, have not come close to their pre-tournament billing.

Serbia can, however, qualify for the next round if they beat Denmark and Slovenia do not win against England. Serbia will be out if they lose or if they draw and Slovenia do not lose.

Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic recalled captain Dusan Tadic to the starting lineup against Slovenia, having used him in the second half versus England, in a bid to add some bite to the attack, a tactic he suggested would be repeated for the Danes.

“It is important that we secured that draw, even though the starting lineup shows that our idea was to win and to score goals – to play attractive, attacking football” he said.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Ken Ferris)