Denmark v Serbia background
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Denmark and Serbia conclude their Group A campaigns at the Letná Stadium, with both teams requiring a victory to retain ambitions of reaching the semi-finals.
Article top media content
Denmark and Serbia conclude their UEFA European Under-21 Championship Group A campaigns at Prague's Letná Stadium.
• Denmark will be through with a win, while Serbia need to win and hope Germany defeat the Czech Republic in the other game to progress. For all the possible permutations, click here.
• The four semi-finalists in the Czech Republic will qualify for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Should England reach the last four, the two third-placed teams will contest a play-off on 28 June to take their place.
• Denmark and Serbia have met in six times in this competition, all in qualifying, with two wins apiece and a pair of draws.
• The draws both happened in qualifying for the 2013 finals, 0-0 in Kragujevac and then 1-1 in Aalborg, with Serbia substitute Nikola Ninković scoring a late equaliser. Both sides ended the group unbeaten, Serbia winning ahead of Denmark, but lost in the play-offs to Spain and England respectively.
• Of the players that featured in Aalborg on 7 September 2012, five are in this year's U21 squads:
Denmark: Frederik Rønnow, Jannik Vestergaard.
Serbia: Aleksandar Pantić, Luka Milunović, Miloš Jojić.
• Serbia won home and away when the teams met in the 2009 play-offs. Filip Djordjević struck the only goal of the first leg seven minutes from time in Aalborg and Kasper Schmeichel's red card just after half-time in the return four days later all but ended Danish hopes. Marko Milinković made sure.
• The Danes put nine goals past Yugoslavia in qualifying for the 1992 finals, Peter Møller scoring a hat-trick in a 6-2 triumph in Belgrade (the visitors led 1-0 at half-time) after a 3-0 home success at Aalborg. Denmark finished top of the group, going on to reach the semis; Yugoslavia ended second and bowed out.
• This is Denmark's third appearance at a final tournament; they failed to get out of the group stage in 2011 on home turf and in 2006.
• Denmark did reach the semi-finals in 1992, the last season before final tournaments were introduced. An Italy team including Demetrio Albertini beat them 3-0 over two legs.
• As part of Yugoslavia, Serbia won the inaugural title in 1978. A second-leg hat-trick from Vahid Halilhodžić, adding to his goal (the only goal) in the first meeting, sealed a 5-4 final victory over East Germany.
• Serbia and Montenegro were runners-up in 2004 and, as a separate country, in 2007, reached the semi-finals in 2006 and contested the group stage in 2009. They did not qualify for the last two editions.
Denmark: Jess Thorup
The former striker – who played in Germany, Austria and Norway – took charge in June 2013, a month after overseeing Esbjerg fB's victory against Randers FC in the Danish Cup final, their first trophy since 1979. He was named Denmark's coach of the year as a result.
Serbia: Mladen Dodić
Dodić steered FK Jagodina to a third-place finish in 2013/14 and the final of the Serbian Cup. The former FK Napredak, FK Novi Pazar and FK Javor boss was hired in late December to replace Radovan Ćurčić, who succeeded Dick Advocaat at the helm of the senior national side.
Last five games: LWDWD
Qualifying top scorer: Lasse Christensen (5)
Last five games: LDWLW
Qualifying top scorer: Aleksandar Mitrović (4)
Denmark team news
• Jonas Knudsen picked up a second yellow card of the tournament against Germany and is suspended. Jannik Vestergaard and Yussuf Poulsen will also be banned for one game if booked against Serbia.
• Pierre Højbjerg missed the Germany game with fatigue, but is expected to be available for matchday three.
• Frederik Sørensen, another absentee against Germany due to a hamstring injury, is recovering quicker than anticipated, but remains a doubt.
• Germany's 3-0 win against Denmark on Saturday was the Scandinavians' heaviest defeat in a U21 EURO final tournament, surpassing the 3-1 loss they suffered to Iceland on home soil in 2011.
• After the game at the Eden Stadium, coach Jess Thorup said: "That was our first 'match point' and we've missed it. Now we have to get back on it and find some new confidence for the next game. We have to win the game and if we do that, we're through to the semi-finals."
Serbia team news
• The 4-0 defeat to Czech Republic at the Letná Stadium in Prague on Saturday was Serbia's heaviest U21 EURO final tournament defeat.
• It surpassed their 4-1 loss to the Netherlands in the 2007 final and the 3-0 defeat of a combined Serbia and Montenegro side to Italy in the 2004 title-decider.
• Booked in both of his country's games so far, Darko Brašanac is suspended for the encounter. Aleksandar Pantić, Goran Čaušić and Filip Djuričić are a booking away from a one-game ban.
• "A lot of things didn't work in our game, it was a totally different team than against Germany. But now we are already focused on Denmark. Regardless of this defeat, we still have a chance to reach the semi-finals," said coach Mladen Dodić after defeat by the hosts.