As the round of 16 kicks off today (Saturday), Wales and Denmark will set the stage rolling in the round of 16 of Euro 2020 at the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam.
Wales have been one of the more impressive teams on show at UEFA Euro 2020, reaching the Round of 16 after the first two matchdays. And so, the 1-0 defeat to Italy in their final Group A tie did not matter one bit, especially with Switzerland falling behind them on goal difference, which meant the Dragons finished runners-up behind the Azzurri.
Denmark, on the other hand, had to wait till the very last matchday to get their first points on the board. After losing their opening two games to Finland and Belgium, in addition to the trauma of Christian Eriksen’s situation, the Red and White had it all to do in their final clash while still needing the stars to align perfectly.
The Danes are aiming to win a knockout tie at the European Championship for the first time since they stunned the continent to win the trophy in 1992.
Wales and Denmark are yet to play out a draw in ten previous meetings. Denmark have the edge in the head-to-head record, with back-to-back wins in the most recent clashes making it six wins for the Red and Whites (L4).
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Wales have lost all five of their previous games in the Netherlands, all against the home side, conceding 16 goals while finding the back of the net just once.
The win over Russia ended Denmark’s four-game losing run in the Euro finals and was only their third win in their last 13 Euro finals fixtures (D2 L8); the Red and Whites have still lost five of their last seven fixtures.
“We’ve been in situations where teams are favourites or have more support, against Turkey [in Baku] they had 18,000 in the stadium so it makes no difference. When it comes to kick-off it is just us players on the pitch,” said Wales captain Gareth Bale.
“We dealt with a very traumatic experience and the same night we kept playing. We played one of the best teams in the world [Belgium] a couple of days later and we beat Russia playing very intensely,” said Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.
“It shows the power we possess, both physical and mental.”
“We had enough crazy days in Copenhagen with emotion for a complete life,” said Hjulmand. “We’re playing in Christian Eriksen’s old homeland and we will give everything,” he said, referring to Amsterdam, home to Ajax Amsterdam and Eriksen’s former club.