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Denmark coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller believes his side will shine against heavily favoured quarter-final rivals France on Monday after being "halfway on the way back to Denmark" following their final group game.
The Scandinavian side finished third in Group A on two points and faced a nervy wait before winning a drawing of lots with Russia for the right to advance. Heiner-Møller now hopes his team can now echo the feat of the men's team here in Sweden at EURO '92, when they triumphed after initially failing to qualify. He is nonetheless fully focused on Bruno Bini's side, "one of the best teams in Europe, if not the best".
The feelings of respect are mutual too, with France's assistant coach André Barthélémy – speaking to the media in place of an absent Bini – lauding Denmark for their "good football, based more on technique than physique", and explaining that Les Bleues may be deprived of striker Marie-Laure Delie due to a groin injury.
André Barthélémy, France assistant coach
Tomorrow is an important match. We're on a run of three wins and we want to add a fourth. In competitions like this, everyone is a favourite because we've already seen favourites go home. England and the Netherlands were favourites, so everyone can win and everyone can lose.
We've observed the Danish team. They play attractive football, and they build moves well. They possess four or five high-quality players and a good squad. They're a difficult team to play against, and they play good football, based more on technique than physique.
It's true that we have to be as efficient as possible. There'll be two teams playing good football, who rely on technique. We'll have to play attractive football like we've done up until now.
In football, there are lots of great stories of teams who surpass themselves. I know that our last game against Denmark was in 2007, just after Bruno [Bini] had taken over as coach. It was in the Algarve Cup and we lost 4-0, so we want to get revenge. I hope we'll be the team that has the great adventure.
Deville; Franco, Renard, Delannoy, Houra; Henry (Catala), Soubeyrand (Abily); Thomis, Thiney (Bussaglia), Necib; Le Sommer.
• Having been the only side to win all their qualifiers, Les Bleues were also the sole team to triumph in all three group games, kicking off with a comfortable victory against Russia as Delie grabbed two goals. They then sealed top spot in Group C via a narrow win against Spain and knocked out England with a consummate performance in which Louisa Necib won a 100th cap.
• On a booking: none
Striker Delie is a doubt with a groin injury and sat out training at Linköping Arena on Sunday. "The medical staff are looking at it, but we have no answers yet," said Barthélémy.
Kenneth Heiner-Møller, Denmark coach
We're looking forward to taking on France tomorrow, France being one of the best teams in Europe, if not the best, with the players who have put in the best performances at this EURO. We, on the other hand, were halfway on the way back to Denmark, when some good results and performances from Spain and France made us turn the bus around and brought us to Linkoping. We're looking forward to this match.
I think many experts are giving us poor odds of progressing, but we believe in ourselves and that's the main thing. When you're in the middle of something extraordinary and you are almost out of the competition, you start to appreciate all the things surrounding this EURO – the football, the media, the players being around team-mates. That's what we bring to this match. We were out of the competition and we bounced back and here we are. So we've started looking at all the positive things in this tournament and not what could have been. Hopefully tomorrow we'll see a more effective team. That's what we need – and we're ready.
In Denmark, [EURO '92] is like a fairy tale. We'd really like to relive those days and make the same story – it would be great. But right now we're focusing on the game tomorrow. I think it's the biggest game we've played since I became coach and the toughest opponents we've met at the EURO. We'll take it step by step. Hopefully we'll still be here at the final.
Petersen; Nielsen, Ørntoft, Røddik, Brogaard; Gajhede Knudsen, Søndergaard Pedersen, Sandvej; Rydahl (Christiansen 64), Harder (Smidt Nielsen 85), Nadim (Rasmussen 64).
• Goalkeeper Stina Petersen was the hero for Denmark in their opening Group A encounter, saving two penalties to frustrate hosts Sweden. Heiner-Møller's side lost out to Italy in their next game and were denied victory late on by Annica Sjölund in their last match, which meant they faced a nervous wait to see if they would qualify as one of the two best third-placed teams. Following a dramatic drawing of lots, they progressed.
• On a booking: Theresa Nielsen, Christina Ørntoft, Cecilie Sandvej
Denmark have been staying in Linkoping since Friday and are fully fit.
These teams are closely matched historically, with Denmark winning seven and France five of 15 games. Denmark lead 32-21 in goals.
Did you know?
France paid a trip to Kolmården Zoo on Saturday and took a cable car ride above the safari area, where they found themselves stuck for an hour which due to a computer failure. "I was with Camille Catala, Camille Abily and some people from the staff," Bouhaddi told UEFA.com. "To pass the time, we laughed and we sang. The other girls who were stuck sang as well. It wasn't long in the end." Bini added: "We found ourselves in the only zoo [in Sweden] run by a Dane."
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