John Chapman’s Denmark v Belgium preview: Roberto Martinez has a selection headache
Our Matchday Squad journalist will be covering Belgium throughout Euro 2020
Belgium will be Denmark’s first opponents since Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest. Spurs’ defender Toby Alderweireld, a friend of Eriksen’s since their Ajax days, feels Denmark might have a positive reaction after the incident, or the opposite.
Belgium and Denmark met twice last year, with Roberto Martinez’s men winning both games (Nations League, 6-2 on aggregate). All eyes will be on Romelu Lukaku, while more will be expected from Youri Tielemans.
Despite again missing senior players, Belgium will take the game to Denmark. Jan Vertonghen is doubtful with an ankle injury and would likely be replaced by Thomas Vermaelen. Remarkably, Axel Witsel could be in the squad, just five months after an operation on his achilles tendon. Kevin De Bruyne has remained in Belgium.
Eden Hazard had a lively cameo against Russia but won’t start the game and it’s a toss-up between Dries Mertens and teenager Jeremy Doku on the right side of attack.
Timothy Castagne is out of the tournament – he underwent surgery on a quadruple fracture of the cheekbone – and will be replaced by Thomas Meunier. So, Belgium will be a tad weaker in defence, stronger going forward.
Denmark will be fired-up, but I take Belgium to win 2-1.