Denmark will play Finland on Thursday in the first round of qualifying for the 2024 European Championships, their first competitive match since the World Cup.
Denmark is currently ranked 18th in the world according to FIFA’s rating system, and they are the highest-ranked team in their qualification group, along with Finland, ranked 56th.
In the World Cup 2022, Denmark was held to a goalless draw by Tunisia and lost to France and Australia, scoring just one goal throughout the tournament.
The Danish team is led by manager Kasper Hjulmand, who has retained his position despite their semi-final loss to England during Euro 2020. Hjulmand is determined to build on that success and take Denmark even further in the upcoming EURO 2024.
Denmark Form (All Competitions): L W D L L
Euro 2020 marked the first time Finland qualified for a major tournament, a significant achievement for the nation.
However, they could not be eligible for the winter World Cup, finishing third in their qualification group behind France and Ukraine under coach Markku Kanerva.
Since those World Cup qualifiers, Finland has struggled to find consistent form, winning only two of their last 13 matches across all competitions. Both of these victories were against Montenegro; a team ranked 69th globally.
Finland Form (All Competitions): W D D L L
Denmark’s expected starting lineup:
Schmeichel; Andersen, Kjaer, Christensen; Kristensen, Hojbjerg, Norgaard, Maehle; Lindstrom, Damsgaard; Hojlund
Finland’s expected starting lineup:
Hradecky; Jensen, Hoskonen, Ivanov; Soiri, Maenpaa, Kamara, Suhonen, Niskanen; Pukki, Pohjanpalo
Head to Head
Since 1986, these two teams have played four matches against each other, with Denmark winning two, Finland winning one, and one game ending in a tie.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 07:45 pm, UTC
Venue: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
Despite a disappointing performance in the recent World Cup held in Qatar, the Danish team, under their coach Kasper Hjulmand, has become a formidable opponent when playing on their home soil.
On the other hand, Finland has historically struggled to score goals, and their all-time top scorer, Teemu Pukki, has not achieved a plan for his club or country since January.