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Denmark v Sweden semi-final preview

Published: Friday 26 June 2015, 20.00CET
Denmark coach Jess Thorup drew inspiration from a special anniversary ahead of the semi-final against a Sweden side who expect the adrenaline to be pumping on Saturday.
by Tom Kell
from Letná Stadium

Tournament statistics

DenmarkSweden

Goals scored5
 
7
Total attempts54
 
46
on target15
 
20
off target25
 
22
blocked14
 
4
against woodwork2
 
0
Corners22
 
12
Offsides6
 
7
Yellow cards6
 
8
Red Cards0
1
Fouls committed46
 
70
Fouls suffered41
 
49
Published: Friday 26 June 2015, 20.00CET

Denmark v Sweden semi-final preview

Denmark coach Jess Thorup drew inspiration from a special anniversary ahead of the semi-final against a Sweden side who expect the adrenaline to be pumping on Saturday.

Denmark take on Sweden in U21 EURO semi-final at Prague's Letná Stadium
Denmark coach Jess Thorup: "We can beat any team left in the tournament"
Håkan Ericson says Sweden are "still looking for the perfect game"
Game takes place 23 years and a day since Denmark won EURO '92 in Gothenburg
The teams drew 2-2 in a pre-tournament friendly in Copenhagen on 11 June

Possible lineups
Denmark
:
Busk; Scholz, Vestergaard, Sørensen, Knudsen; Christensen, Thomsen; Falk, Højbjerg, Fischer; Poulsen

Sweden: Carlgren; Lindelöf, Baffo, Milošević, Augustinsson; Khalili, Lewicki, Hiljemark, Tibbling; Guidetti, Kiese Thelin
Doubtful: Baffo (shoulder)

Jess Thorup, Denmark coach
I think we can play even better, although we are satisfied with achieving our first goal of getting through to the semi-finals. Now we look forward to playing a Swedish team who have played a good tournament. Not many football specialists would have had Denmark and Sweden down among the favourites to go through to the semi-finals!

When we look at the football, there's always been some rivalry between the two countries. There'll be a lot of red and white and a lot of blue and yellow at the stadium. Hopefully there'll be a lot of Denmark supporters because we're always glad to see them.

Everybody talks about style – 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or whatever – but I think every team tries to play their own game. We, as the Danish team, have our own style while everyone says that Sweden have played for many generations as a 4-4-2. But when I look at this team I see how they've developed. I think the Swedish team can play a lot of different ways – I'll use the last day to see what will be the best way for us to beat them.

Watch John Jensen's 1992 final goal

We finished first in the group, we won two out of three. We've shown what kind of team we are and what kind of football we play – we can improve more and if we do that, we can beat any team in the tournament. We're not satisfied just to reach the semi-finals.

I also just found out that today it is 23 years ago since we won the European Championship [in Sweden] – it's a special day!

Håkan Ericson, Sweden coach
I hope it'll be a very equal game. The Danish team are very good at possession football and they play similarly to Portugal. Of course I hope we can also have good possession – we had it in some periods against Portugal. We're still looking for the perfect game; hopefully we will find it tomorrow! We know that to give them too much space would be the worst thing we can do.

It's very special for us to reach the semi-final from a very, very tough group and it doesn't matter who we're up against. There are no hard feelings between the two teams so we are calm and relaxed about the match.

The friendly before the tournament taught us a lot. Maybe we could have reached the semi-finals and thought ‘Yes, yes, yes, we don't have to play Germany'. But we know just how good a team Denmark are now so that's very useful for us.

Everyone is a little bit tired because we've been together for so long, but of course the adrenaline will come back to 110% on Saturday.

Tournament so far
Denmark (Group A winners)
Czech Republic 1-2 Denmark (Kadeřábek 35; Vestergaard 56, Sisto 84)
Germany 3-0 Denmark (Volland 32 48, Ginter 53)
Denmark 2-0 Serbia (Falk 21, Fishcer 47)

Highlights: Portugal 1-1 Sweden

Sweden (Group B runners-up)
Italy 1-2 Sweden (Berardi 29 pen; Guidetti 56, Kiese Thelin 86 pen)
Sweden 0-1 England (Lingard 85)
Portugal 1-1 Sweden (Gonçalo Paciência 82, Tibbling 89)

Form guide (most recent first)
Denmark: WLWDW
Sweden: DLWDW

Senior internationals in squad (caps)
Denmark:
10 players with 32 caps between them
Pierre Højbjerg (7), Viktor Fischer (7), Yussuf Poulsen (5), Jannik Vestergaard (3), Uffe Bech (3), Jonas Knudsen (2), Andreas Christensen (2), Riza Durmisi (1), Nicolaj Thomsen (1), Rasmus Falk (1)

Sweden: 11 players with 37 caps between them
Oscar Hiljemark (6), Isaac Kiese Thelin (5), Robin Quaison (5), Oscar Lewicki (4), Alexander Miloševic (4), Branimir Hrgota (3), Ludwig Augustinsson (2), John Guidetti (2), Simon Gustafson (2), Sebastian Holmén (2), Mikael Ishak (2)

Match fact
• How many of the countries' 50 U21 meetings have been won by each team? Check out the details and much more in our extensive match background.

Last updated: 27/06/15 11.58CET

http://www.uefa.com/under21/season=2015/matches/round=2000409/match=2015381/prematch/preview/index.html#denmark+sweden+preview