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Denmark Vs Germany

Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola

Germany carry the weight of past disappointments into their last-16 clash against Denmark this Saturday in Dortmund. While Julian Nagelsmann’s squad impressively dominated the group stage, thrashing Scotland 5-1 and Hungary 3-0, a late winner from Niclas Füllkrug was needed against Switzerland to secure top spot in Group A. This hints at a potential vulnerability that Denmark will be eager to exploit.

Three draws secured a second-place finish for Denmark in Group C. However, to replicate their deep run at Euro 2020, where they reached the semi-finals, they’ll need to find a more clinical edge in attack.

Denmark

Denmark progressed to the knockout stages in a surprising turn of events by defying the odds, finishing as runners-up in Group C despite drawing all three of their matches.

The Danes scraped into the last-16 on a technicality. Both they and Slovenia finished with three points, identical goal difference, and two goals scored and conceded. However, Slovenia’s coach received a yellow card earlier in the tournament, pushing their overall tally to seven compared to Denmark’s six. This seemingly minor infraction determined their fate.

This qualification, however, marks a historic achievement for Kasper Hjulmand’s men. They’ve reached the knockout stages of consecutive Euros for the first time, building on their impressive run to the 2020 semi-final (lost to England in extra time).

Denmark’s Knockout Stage History: A Mixed Bag

Despite their recent group stage success, Denmark’s knockout stage record in major tournaments remains a concern for Coach Hjulmand. They’ve only won three of their last nine knockout games (drawing two and losing four). Two of those wins came during their 2020 semi-final run, highlighting their potential.

However, their overall form at major tournaments paints a different picture. Denmark has only won three of their last 15 matches (drawing seven and losing five), and they’re currently on a seven-game winless streak (four draws, three losses). Considering their group stage struggles and Germany’s strong showing, the upcoming match in Dortmund heavily favors the Germans.

Germany

Germany cruised through Group A, topping the table with two convincing wins and a hard-fought draw. Their attacking prowess was on display with 8 goals scored, while a solid defense only conceded twice. This sets them up for a clash with the runner-up of Group C in the knockout stage. Coach Julian Nagelsmann’s men have impressed with their consistency and are a force to be reckoned with going into the R16 tie.


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Head to Head

Germany and Denmark have a rich history at the Euros, having clashed three times before. The Germans hold the upper hand in their opening encounter (1988), winning 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen, which also marked the last time Germany hosted the tournament. However, Denmark got the sweetest revenge four years later, defeating Germany in the final to claim their only Euros title. The most recent meeting saw Germany return the favor with a narrow 2-1 victory in 2012.

Key Players

Niclas Füllkrug has emerged as a surprise hero for Germany, coming off the bench in all six of his major tournament appearances and netting an impressive four goals.

Füllkrug’s scoring efficiency is remarkable. Across major tournaments (Euros and World Cup), only the legendary Polish striker Ernst Wilimowski boasts a better minutes-per-goal ratio (one every 30 minutes) among European players with at least 100 minutes played. Füllkrug finds the net on average every 35 minutes.

His impact as a super-sub could see him challenge Kai Havertz for a starting role, especially with the upcoming match being played at his home stadium, Borussia Dortmund’s iconic Signal Iduna Park.

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Denmark boast their maestro in Christian Eriksen. The Manchester United star was instrumental in Denmark’s attack, directly involved in a staggering 55% of their 42 shots. He attempted 10 shots himself and created a further 13 chances for his teammates in Group C. This makes Eriksen the first Danish player to achieve the feat of registering both 10+ shots and 10+ chances created in a single edition of a major tournament (World Cup/Euros).

Verdict

The round of 16 heats up with a fascinating clash in Dortmund. Germany enter the match on a high after dominant group stage victories against Scotland and Hungary. They’ll be looking to exorcise past knockout round woes against a Denmark side that lacked attacking firepower in the group stages. This encounter promises to be a battle of tactical prowess and mental fortitude.

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