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Denmark may fear Italy's Panico

Patrizia Panico will almost certainly lead Italy's line versus Denmark and has the pedigree to do so having scored against the Scandinavian side in the 1997 and 2001 final tournaments.

The evergreen Patrizia Panico at her fourth final tournament in 2009
The evergreen Patrizia Panico at her fourth final tournament in 2009 ©Sportsfile

Both teams secured a point from their opening Group A fixtures, and while Denmark hold the upper hand against Italy overall, it is a different story in UEFA Women's EURO final tournament games.

Head-to-head record
• In 15 meetings, Denmark have won eight and Italy three with four draws. The goal tally is 32-14 to Denmark.

• Their first meeting was in the final of a tournament in Naples on 27 July 1979, Denmark winning 2-0.

• It was not until 1985, in their fourth meeting, that Italy avoided defeat, winning 2-1.

• They first met competitively in 1991 UEFA European Women's Championship qualifying, Denmark winning 1-0 at home and drawing 1-1 away. Both progressed to the four-team finals in Denmark and met for third place, the hosts prevailing 2-1 after extra time.

• In their most recent meeting, they drew 2-2 in the Sao Paulo tournament on 11 December 2011.

Selected previous meeting
25 June 2001: Italy 2-1 Denmark (Panico 12 72; Bukh 74) Waldstadion, Aalen, UEFA Women's EURO group stage
Brenzan, Tavalazzi, Masia (Duo 66), Frollani, Deinana, Pellizzer, Panico, Zorri (Maglio 82), Guarino, Tesse, D'Astolfo.
H Johansen, U Knudsen (Andersson), K Pedersen, Terp, G Andersen, Paaske-Sørensen (Bukh), Lene Jensen (Jokumsen), Petersen, Krogh, M Pedersen, Bonde.

• Having drawn 2-2 in the 1997 group stage – when Panico came off the bench to score and Italy went on to reach the final – they met again in their opening finals fixture four years later.

• Then Panico again and Julie Rydahl Bukh got the goals but, although Italy won, Denmark eventually topped the group and the Azzurre missed out in third place.

• In April 2001 Denmark pair Bukh and Italy's Viviana Schiavi, Alessia Tuttino, Valentina Boni, Pamela Conti and Elisa Camporese played in these nations' only competitive youth encounter. Denmark won a UEFA European Women's Under-18 Championship third qualifying round tie 2-1, Bukh scoring and being sent off in the first half.

Form guide
• Italy kept up their fine run from 2011 World Cup qualifying in reaching these finals. They clinched first place in Group 1 ahead of Russia with two games left and won nine and drew one of their fixtures, a 0-0 draw in Greece in their last match. They scored 35 goals without conceding.

• A month before qualification was clinched, coach Pietro Ghedin left to take over the Malta men's team and was succeeded by 1982 FIFA World Cup winner Antonio Cabrini.

• Italy have never failed to make the last eight of a Women's EURO and were runners-up in 1993 and 1997.

• This is set to be Panico's fifth EURO finals having played at 1997, 2001, 2005 (the only one in which she did not score) and 2009.

• Denmark seldom falter in qualifying groups and so it proved again. They won their first six fixtures, and although they fell to a surprise 3-1 defeat in Austria on 15 September 2012, four days later a 2-0 win against Portugal confirmed first place in Group 7.

Team ties
• Italian and Danish clubs have met in four two-legged UEFA Women's Champions League/UEFA Women's Cup ties.

• In the 2007/08 quarter-finals ASD CF Verona beat Brøndby IF on penalties after each had won 1-0 away. Verona fielded Panico, Boni, Tuttino, Motta and Gabbiadini while Brøndby boasted Bukh, Mia Brogaard, Line Røddik and Nanna Christiansen.

• Verona then twice played Fortuna Hjørring in the round of 32. In 2009/10 Fortuna won 4-0 at home before losing 2-1 away and a year later prevailed 8-0 at home and 6-1 away. In 2010/11 Fortuna's Janni Arnth Jensen, Mariann Gajhede Knudsen, Bukh and Kristine Pedersen all played in the first game with Sine Hovesen involved in the second leg. Gabiadinni and second-leg goalscorer Cristiana Girelli were in the Verona team.

• Brøndby defeated ASD Torres CF in the 2011/12 round of 16, winning 2-1 at home and 3-1 away. Cecilie Sandvej, Theresa Nielsen, Nanna Christiansen and Bukh played for Brøndby. Torres fielded Raffaella Manieri, Elisabetta Tona, Silvia Fuselli, Panico, Sandy Ianella, Giorgia Motta and Sandy Maendly.

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