Rod Liddle

Euro 2020: Don’t underestimate the Danes

Euro 2020: Don't underestimate the Danes
(Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Italy: 1 (moped riding infant)

Spain: 1 (swarthy bull-taunting thug)

Spain are not terribly good at penalty shoot-outs. Hell, even England beat them in 1996. And so they lost a match they had dominated pretty much from start to finish. If you remember, I tipped Italy to win this tournament right at the outset — but there are flaws to this side. 

What you need to do — to state the obvious — is take the chances you create, because with Italy there will be chances. They are a counter-attacking side and invite pressure. If that pressure amounts to playing neat triangles outside the penalty area, then forget it. You need to get behind their backline, missus. You need to frighten them.

And so Denmark vs England. Our overall record against the smug hygge monkeys is, as you might expect, very good: we’ve played them 21 times and won 12 of those games, drawing five and losing four. 

However, more recently the blonde pastry-munching bores have had a distinct edge. In the last six games, we have lost three and won twice. More to the point, Denmark will be the highest-ranked Fifa team we have played against, standing tenth in the rankings (Germany are twelfth, since you asked). 

Yes, that suspicion remains that England may be flat-track bullies, something we saw during the ludicrous European Nations Cup against the Netherlands and indeed Denmark. I would again appeal for creativity from England: we need to knock the wind out of their sails early. My prediction is 2-1 to England, but I wouldn’t stake my life on it.