Denmark seek home comfort in group deciders

Morten Wieghorst sees it as "a great advantage" that his Denmark side will play their final two Group 4 games on home soil, with a crucial tie against leaders Serbia first up.

Denmark will be hoping to make home advantage count at the Aalborg Stadion
Denmark will be hoping to make home advantage count at the Aalborg Stadion ©

Denmark coach Morten Wieghorst wants his side to make home advantage tell when they conclude their UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying round Group 4 campaign against leaders Serbia and Northern Ireland – with a ticket to the play-offs in the balance.

Second-placed Denmark trail Serbia, who travel to Aalborg on Friday, by two points after a 6-5 victory over the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and a 1-1 draw with the Faroe Islands in their two most recent outings. However, the Danes have won both of their home games so far and will top the group if they can maintain their 100% record. It is a feat well within their grasp, says Wieghorst. "It is definitely not impossible for us to win both games. So far we have won our home matches and drawn away.

"However, as usual, we will take one game at a time, so right now we will focus on the Serbia match which is the key. I see it as a great advantage that both games are in Aalborg, where we are used to getting fine support."

Wieghorst also hopes his team have learned after conceding four second-half goals against FYROM in June, and letting in an 87th-minute equaliser in the Faroe Islands last month. "The entire side collapsed," he said after FYROM had fought back from 6-1 down. "We learned a huge lesson. We expected a difficult game against the Faroes and that is precisely what we got."

Goalkeeper Nicolai Larsen, forward Jakob Ahlmann Nielsen and midfielder Kasper Kusk play their club football for Aalborg BK so will feel more comfortable than most at the Aalborg Stadion. Seventeen-year-old midfielder Lucas Andersen, meanwhile, who left Aalborg to join AFC Ajax last week, could make his debut against Serbia or Northern Ireland. The British team, fourth in the group, come calling on 10 September, when Serbia have their final fixture at home to FYROM.

Denmark are aiming to be one of the ten qualifying round group winners to advance to October's play-offs alongside the four best runners-up.