They say it’s not over til the fat lady sings – but in Denmark’s case, she’s just stepped up to the microphone.
A win is absolutely necessary against Russia if the Danes are to have any chance of staying in the tournament beyond the group stage, but even three points may not be enough to keep them in Euro 2020.
Kasper Hjulmand’s team have to win, win well, and hope for some favours elsewhere in the competition to keep them alive. And here is the team they should field as they look to do so.
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Kasper Schmeichel (GK) – With 67 appearances for his country so far, he’s still some way from his dad’s all-time record of 129 caps. But even at 34, he doesn’t look like giving the gloves up anytime soon.
Daniel Wass (RB) – A change to a back four may be incoming as Denmark chase some goals but whatever the shape, Wass will slot in on the right-hand side.
Simon Kjaer (CB) – The captain will go level with Thomas Sorensen as Denmark’s ninth most-capped player of all-time, and he’ll be desperate to get them through so he can add to that further.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – The towering Chelsea man is growing in importance to the Denmark side and should survive the switch to a back four.
Joakim Maehle (LB) – The lack of a reliable left-back means Maehle has been filling in on his weaker side. Fortunately the Atalanta man is pretty good there.
Thomas Delaney (CM) – Rarely misses a game for his country when fit and he’s unlikely to start now. Mr Reliable in midfield.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) – Played every minute for Tottenham in the Premier League season and hasn’t missed a minute of the Euros so far. He’ll start.
Mathias Jensen (CM) – It could just as easily be his Brentford teammate Christian Norgaard starting here but Jensen provides more of an attacking outlet in midfield.
Martin Braithwaite (FW) – The Barcelona man has hardly been clinical for his country but runs the channels well and is an indispensable part of his side’s attack.
Yussuf Poulsen (FW) – Provides the outlet for Denmark and has two goals in his last four appearances. Shoo-in to start.
Mikkel Damsgaard (FW) – The youngster has been asked to step in for Christian Eriksen and performed admirably against Belgium. He’s one to watch in the years ahead, and could make a real mark here if given the nod to start again.