It may not be the box office quarter-final tie you’re waiting for this weekend, but the Czech Republic’s Euro 2020 quarter-final with Denmark should be fun.
Both sides have thoroughly impressed so far, with the Czechs coming through a tricky group, while their opponents have recovered from a tough start to emerge as one of the tournament’s form sides at the quarter-final stage.
Denmark will be dreaming of a repeat of 1992, while Jaroslav Silhavy’s team haven’t been this far since 2004. Something’s got to give, but what will it be?
When is kick-off? Saturday 3 July, 5pm (UK time)
Where is the match being played? Baku Olympic Stadium, Baku
What TV channel is it on? ITV1 (UK), ESPN (US)
Who is the referee? Bjorn Kuipers
Who is on VAR duty? Pol van Boekel
Czech Republic team news
Jan Boril is back from suspension after missing the Czechs game against the Netherlands and the experienced left-back may retake his spot from Pavel Kaderabek after playing every minute in the group stage.
Other than that it’s as you were for coach Jaroslav Silhavy, who doesn’t seem likely to change too much from the heroic win over the Dutch.
Denmark had to deal with a few injuries against Wales as Yussuf Poulsen and Daniel Wass both missed out, while captain Simon Kjaer was forced off prematurely.
All three are back in contention for this one, though Kasper Hjulmand may not want to change too much from a side who won 4-0 in the last round. Kjaer will come back in if fit, but Wass and Poulsen will have to wait and see.
Christian Eriksen is the only definite absentee as he recovers from the cardiac arrest he suffered in their opening game.
Czech Republic vs Denmark predicted lineups
Czech Republic: Vaclik; Coufal, Celustka, Kalas, Boril; Holes, Coucek; Masopust, Barak, Sevcik; Schick
Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjær, Vestergaard; Wass, Hojbjerg, Delaney, Mæhle; Braithwaite, Dolberg, Damsgaard
Mikkel Damsgaard is the great white hope for the future of Danish football. The 20-year-old has starred at the Euros so far, starting three of Denmark’s four matches and becoming the first of 90min’s Our 21 to score with his fantastic strike against Russia. He seems likely to start again, though manager Hjulmand may be careful with his game-time, considering he is one booking away from missing a potential semi-final.
Czech Republic vs Denmark head to head record
Games between these two have historically been tight affairs. The Danes may take heart from the fact they are undefeated in their last six matches against Saturday’s opponents, but the fact that five of those have been draws says it all.
Denmark did emerge as 3-0 victors the last time they met competitively in a World Cup qualifier, but the last time they met at a major tournament at Euro 2004, the Czechs won by the same scoreline.
They have met 11 times in total; two Denmark wins, three Czech wins and six draws.
It’s a meeting of two sides who have more than met expectations so far, and no matter what happens, they will both go away happy with what they have shown at Euro 2020.
However, it is a winnable game for both teams, and neither will want to miss out on the rare chance of competing at the last four. It will be close, but Denmark have the experience at this level, and you would back them to narrowly edge it.
Prediction: Czech Republic 1-2 Denmark