Czech Republic v Denmark background

The Czech Republic and Denmark open the finals with a second game in seven months at Prague's Stadion Eden, the hosts hoping their last competitive meeting is a good omen.

Action from these teams' November meeting at Eden Stadium
Action from these teams' November meeting at Eden Stadium ©Jan Tauber

The Czech Republic and Denmark open the UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals at Prague's Eden Stadium with the hosts hoping their last competitive meeting at this level will prove a good omen.

Previous meetings
The teams drew 2-2 in a friendly at Eden Stadium on 14 November 2014.

• Ladislav Takács equalised in the 89th minute, Václav Kadlec having earlier cancelled out an early Jens Jønsson goal, only for Jeppe Andersen to make it 2-1 at half-time.

• Competitively they came up against each other in 2002 qualifying, the Czech Republic winning 3-0 in Teplice on 27 March 2001 with two Milan Baroš goals and 4-3 in Odense on 1 June that year – Libor Žůrek striking in added time with Denmark having led 2-0 after seven minutes.

• The teams at the Odense Stadion were:
Denmark
: R Pedersen, L Jacobsen, D Johansen, Albrechtsen, Sennels, M Jørgensen (Junker 74), Gaardsoe, Poulsen, Skoubo (Andreasen 74), D Jensen, Løvenkrands (M Larsen 82).
Czech Republic: Čech, Jiránek, Drobný, Špiláček, Kubica (Kováč 51), Polák, Kobylík, Jarolím (Voríšek 23), Urbánek ((Žůrek 80), Vachoušek, Pospíšil.

• The Czech Republic won the group, qualified via the play-offs and then won the title in Switzerland.

• Including four friendlies, these Czech Republic have played Denmark six times at U21 level, winning four, drawing one and losing one, scoring 13 goals to Denmark's 12.

• In 1988 qualifying, Czechoslovakia won 1-0 away and drew 1-1 at home against Denmark to pip them to first place in their group, though they then lost on away goals to Greece in the quarter-finals.

Match background
• The Czech Republic, winners in 2002, last qualified in 2011 when they finished fourth in Denmark. They also qualified in 2007 and 2000, when they were runners-up.

• Denmark's last finals appearance was as hosts in 2011, when they exited in the group stage, as they also did in Germany five years earlier when they made it through qualifying.

• Denmark's best run was in 1992 when they reached the two-legged semi-finals, losing 3-0 on aggregate to eventual champions Italy but reaching the Olympic Games for the last time to date.

Coach profiles
Czech Republic: Jakub Dovalil
Born 08/02/1974
Dovalil was appointed in November 2008, four months after he led the Czech U19s to the last four of their UEFA European Championship on home soil. In 2006 the former Slavia Praha youth coach had also steered the U17s to their respective continental final, where they succumbed on penalties to Russia.

Denmark: Jess Thorup
Born 21/02/1970
The former striker – who played in Germany, Austria and Norway – took charge in June 2013, a month after overseeing Esbjerg'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.

Form guide
Czech Republic
Last five games (most recent first): WWWLD
2013-15 friendlies top scorer: Michael Krmenčík (3), Tomáš Přikryl (3)

Denmark
Last five games (most recent first): DWDWD
Qualifying top scorer: Kenneth Zohore (4)

Czech Republic team news
• The squad returned from their training camp in Austria on 10 June and resumed their preparations in Prague. men played two friendlies against Ukraine while in Austria and won both – 3-0 and 2-1.

• Pavel Kadeřábek, Ladislav Krejčí and Kadlec joined the squad straight after their return from Iceland with the Czech senior team. Kadeřábek played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 defeat in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, with Krejčí coming off the bench as a 67th-minute substitute. Kadlec was not involved.

• The Czechs played their last competitive match on 16 October 2012 against Russia in a qualifying play-off for the 2013 finals. They drew 2-2 in Yekaterinburg and were eliminated (2-4 agg). Tomáš Kalas and Kadlec were both sent off in that game and will serve one-match bans against Denmark.

• Midfielders Ondřej Petrák and Jiří Skalák missed part of the squad's training programme in Austria but are now both fit and in full training.

• More than 200 fans turned out to support the team at open training on Sunday, which was preceded by an autograph session.

Denmark team news
• The Denmark squad landed in Prague on Saturday and were joined 24 hours later by the six members of the party involved in the senior team's 2-0 win against Serbia in EURO qualifying.

• Andreas Christensen, Pierre Højbjerg and Yussuf Poulsen all played against Serbia, with Poulsen scoring the opening goal. Viktor Fischer, Pione Sisto and Jannik Vestergaard were unused substitutes.

• Poulsen was withdrawn in the 73rd minute of the Serbia game with a foot problem but is expected to be fit. Højbjerg, meanwhile, reported some tightness in his hamstring on arrival in Prague and left the camp to see a specialist for further tests.

• Nicolai Brock-Madsen scored twice while Patrick Banggaard was sent off in a 2-2 warm-up draw with Sweden in Copenhagen last Thursday.  Uffe Bech limped off in the first half of that match while Emil Berggren has been nursing a knee problem but both are expected to be available for the opening game.

• Midfielder Lucas Andersen flew with the squad to Prague as a possible replacement in case one of the injured players does not recover.

• Ulrik Wilbek, sports director of the Danish Handball Federation – and coach of World Championship and Olympic gold medal-winning Denmark teams – gave the U21 squad a talk about his experiences. "Having been at 17 major championships, I have a certain experience of handling such challenges, and that is what I have been passing on to the players," Wilbek explained.