Belgium to triumph in game overshadowed by Eriksen
Thursday evening sees the second games in Group B play out. The pool, if not the Euros as a whole, has been overshadowed by the cardiac arrest suffered by Denmark talisman Christian Eriksen during their all-Scandinavian clash with Finland. Though the latter eventually won their first ever match a major tournament, it was rendered for all intents and purposes immaterial by the fact that the player had nearly died on the field, and the later accusations levelled at UEFA of pressuring the sides into the continuation of the game the same day. The 'show' does go on however, and they now face Belgium, who have teammates and friends of the stricken midfielder at Internazionale within their own ranks. Read our preview here:
Have a Kjær
It remains to be seen just what kind of mental condition the Danish squad and management team will be in when the fixture gets underway. It seems highly unlikely that they can play to their full ability, and there is no shame whatsoever in that. Centre back Simon Kjær drew widespread praise for his actions in helping Eriksen in the immediate seconds following his colleague's collapse, and very little of the focus pre or prior to the harrowing incident was on their playing performance. At anything like full strength, Kasper Hjulmand's charges have the attributes to cause Belgium problems, especially in wide areas behind the striker.
The Verm has turned
Jan Vertonghen suffered a knock on his ankle in the surprisingly easy 3-0 win over Russia, so Thomas Vermaelen is set to take his place. Leicester City's versatile wing-back Timothy Castagne suffered a double eye fracture in that clash, ruling him out of the remainder of the summer. The back three were put under no pressure at all during that victory, and it still isn't known how much of a collective weakness they're really going to prove to be. The former Arsenal defender now plies his trade at J1 League outfit Vissel Kobe, and has never been a particularly strong tackler, even in his prime. Even so, the rest of the team even without Axel Witsel, Kevin De Bruyne or a fully fit Eden Hazard are unlikely to show too much mercy on the pitch to their opponents.
"I love you, Chris!"
The rapport Eriksen and Romelu Lukaku have at club level goes beyond far beyond the former setting up the latter for yet another goal. The love and friendship they share was on display after the star striker hit his first against Russia, and will naturally continue on in the tournament and afterwards. Casumo have odds of 2.05 for a Belgium win.
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