Denmark will be looking to make it five wins from five against Russia as the teams conclude Group C at the Haladás Stadion in Szombathely.
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Denmark will be looking to make it five victories from five matches against Russia as the teams conclude Group C at the Haladás Stadion in Szombathely.
• The Danes are top of the section having beaten France 1-0 and, last time out, Iceland 2-0 thanks to goals from early goals from Gustav Isaksen (5) and Mads Bech (18). That has given them a three-point lead over both France and Russia, meaning Denmark go through if they avoid defeat by two goals or more against Russia or if France do not beat Iceland. Denmark finish as group winners if they avoid defeat.
• Russia beat Iceland 4-1 on Matchday 1 but lost their last fixture 2-0 to France. They will go through as group winners if they beat Denmark by two goals or more, or with any win if France do not beat Iceland. Russia also go through as runners-up if they draw and France lose, or if Russia lose and France lose 1-0, 2-1, or by a margin of two or three goals.
• Denmark have won all four of their games against Russia, scoring ten goals and conceding only three.
• All four of those fixtures have come in European U21 Championship qualifying, most recently in the preliminaries for the 2015 edition. Denmark were 2-0 victors in Khimki on 15 October 2013 thanks to two goals in four second-half minutes from Jens Jønsson (49) and Nicolai Brock-Madsen (52) before a 4-2 home success in Aalborg on 3 September 2014. Lasse Vigen Christensen struck twice in the first half (5, 44) for the home side, whose other goals came from Jannik Vestergaard (56) and Andreas Christensen (73); Arshak Koryan (33) and Denis Davydov (89) were the Russian scorers.
• The latter result, in the penultimate round of qualifiers, helped Denmark finish first in Group 1, reach the qualifying play-offs and ultimately the semi-finals at the tournament itself. Russia, runners-up to the Danes, were eliminated.
• Denmark also qualified for the 2006 finals at Russia's expense, running out 4-1 aggregate winners in their two-legged play-off. Kasper Lorentzen scored the only goal of the first leg at the Kuban Stadium in Krasnodar on 12 November 2005; four days later, at the Brøndby Stadium, the home side recovered from Yuri Zhirkov's second-minute opener to win 3-1 thanks to goals from Morten Rasmussen (8), Martin Bergvold (16) and Thomas Kahlenberg (62 pen).
• The Danes also won 3-1 against Russia in an unofficial U21 international in France in May 2010, Andreas Bjelland (6), Emil Lyng (11) and Nicki Bille Nielsen (56) getting the goals; Pavel Mamaev (36) was on target for Russia.
• This is Denmark's fourth successive U21 final tournament, and a sixth participation in the eight or 12-team finals. They were eliminated in the group stage in 2006, 2011 on home soil, 2017 and 2019, but did reach the semi-finals in 2015, losing 4-1 to eventual champions Sweden.
• Two years ago in Italy, the Danes were eliminated having finished second in Group B behind eventual runners-up Germany with six points from their three games (W2 L1).
• Their 2021 results mean Denmark have now won eight of their 17 group stage games in the finals overall, losing seven.
• A place in the 2015 semi-finals equalled Denmark's most successful U21 campaign; they also reached the last four in 1992 having previously got to the quarter-finals in 1978 and 1986.
• Albert Capellas succeeded Niels Frederiksen as coach after those 2019 finals and oversaw an unbeaten qualifying campaign, the Spaniard's side picking up 26 points from their ten matches (W8 D2) to win Group 8 by six points from Romania.
• Jacob Bruun Larsen provided seven assists in qualifying, more than any other player, and also set up Denmark's Matchday 1 goal at these finals.
• Champions as part of the Soviet Union in 1980 and 1990, this is only Russia's second finals appearance since they reached the quarter-finals in 1998, a tournament in which they finished in seventh place.
• Russia's most recent U21 EURO, in 2013, ended in group stage elimination; a side coached by Nikolai Pisarev lost to Spain (0-1), Netherlands (1-5) and Germany (1-2) to finish bottom of Group B, Russia's only goals coming from future senior internationals Denis Cheryshev and Alan Dzagoev.
• Russia have therefore lost six of their eight games at the U21 final tournament; before beating Iceland on Matchday 1, the sole exception was a 2-1 victory against hosts Romania in Bucharest in the seventh-place play-off in 1998.
• For this tournament, a team coached by Mikhail Galaktionov – who has been in charge since 2018 – finished first in qualifying Group 5 on 23 points, three ahead of second-placed Poland. Russia won seven of their ten fixtures, losing only to Poland in their eighth game (0-1 a) and scoring four goals in each of their last two, against Estonia (4-0 h) and Latvia (4-1 a).
Links and trivia
• Carlo Holse was in the Copenhagen team beaten 1-0 at Zenit in the UEFA Europa League group stage on 29 November 2018.