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Denmark EURO 2020 squad

Who are the dark horses at EURO 2020?

After a year-long wait, it's finally time for the EURO 2020. As always a lot of people will try to predict the outcomes of the matches and ultimately predict who is gonna win it. But who are the dark horses? Who is going to surprise us the most, will it be the Netherlands, Denmark, or Croatia?

This will be the second of the three long-reads in total, where we are going to take a look at the dark horses for the European Championship. After having looked at the Netherlands squad, we will now look at Denmark.



Denmark

Denmark finds itself in Group B, together with Belgium, Finland, and Russia. In this fairly easy group, Denmark is looking to get out of the group stage for the first time since the 2004 Euros. This year more than ever Denmark could go the distance at the Euros being one of the underdogs. According to data from Hypercube, they have a 5.4% chance to win coming in just behind the Netherlands.

If Denmark can get its attacking side to work they can be a real danger against any opponent. In this article, we will be taking a look at their defense, followed by a more in-depth look at the midfield, and to close it off we will analyze their attacking side.


Defense

Currently, Denmark has a pretty good defensive pairing with Kjær and Christensen, while it looks like Vestergaard is going to be the backup option for the squad. If we look at the defensive capabilities of all three defenders, we can see wins the most defensive duels, winning 70.11% and Kjær has the most successful defensive actions per game, winning 10.61.


At the right- and left-back position it looks like Denmark has two pairs that were always on the field together in Denmarks' most recent matches. It's either Boilesen as a left-back and Stryger Larsen at right-back or Wass as a right-back and Mæhle as left-back. It seems like the last pairing start during more difficult games where Denmark will have to defend more.


Midfield

The star of the team is of course its playmaker Christian Eriksen, we expect to see him play every match for the Danish side. Denmark almost always plays with three midfielders, with either one or two defensive midfielders. If we take a look at who has the best defensive stats, it is Christian Nørgaard that comes out on top, with 11.8 successful defensive duels and winning 64.8% of his duels. it will be interesting to see if he gets the chance to make some minutes during the tournament, but we expect to see Delaney or Højbjerg start as they have more experience and are used to play at a higher level.


Who is going to be the more attacking midfielder during the tournament? to find out we looked at the progressive runs and shots of all the midfielders.


Progressive runs vs touches in the box

In the scatterplot above we see that there are two players that really stand out from the rest. Eriksen and Christiansen are by far the most attacking midfielders on the team, they will be fundamental in helping the danish attack as this is the weakest part of the squad. Looking at the scatter plot below we also see that Eriksen has the most shots on goals as well as on target.


We predict Eriksen to start for Denmark in the more attacking midfielder role however, we would not be surprised to see Christiansen come on as a substitute. He also has great attacking stats, but the experience Eriksen will bring to the team might just give them the edge in attack.


Shots vs percentage on target


Attack

The attack is probably the weakest part of the team. At striker, it will probably be between Dolberg and Poulsen. The stats of both players are very similar, with Poulsen being just a little better at passing.


On the left wing, we were surprised to see Braithwaite after his pretty unsuccessful season at Barcelona where he mostly came on as a substitute. He is the weakest left-winger Denmark currently has with only 2.55 successful attacking actions per game. If we look at the stats Denmark should either play Damsgard or Skov on the left wing, as they have far better stats compared to Braithwaite. We are curious to see if Braithwaite will actually start for Denmark during the tournament or if we are going to see another player step up.

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