Soccer-Damsgaard replaces Eriksen in Denmark lineup against Belgium


Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Group B - Denmark v Belgium - Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark - June 17, 2021 Denmark's Thomas Delaney with teammates walk on the pitch and applaud fans before the match Pool via REUTERS/Stuart Franklin

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Mikkel Damsgaard has been handed the difficult role of stepping into Christian Eriksen’s shoes in Denmark’s lineup while Kevin De Bruyne is only on the bench for Belgium in their Group B clash in Copenhagen on Thursday.

Damsgaard is not a like-for-like replacement for Eriksen, who suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 opener, but he can play the playmaker role. He is one of two changes to their lineup after the loss to Finland on Saturday.

Jannik Vestergaard comes into the defence with Jonas Wind being sacrificed as Denmark changed their formation.

Coach Kasper Hjulmand said players would be free to choose whether they wanted to play after the trauma of seeing Eriksen collapse on the field against Finland.

He was given CPR on the pitch and was then rushed to hospital. He will now have a heart starter device implanted.

Denmark captain Simon Kjaer was credited with being the first to recognise Eriksen was in distress and start CPR. He is expected to get a rousing welcome when he leads out the home team.

De Bruyne suffered a double facial fracture in last month’s Champions League final and missed Belgium’s build-up to Euro 2020 as well as their first Group B game against Russia last Saturday, when they were impressive 3-0 winners.

Yet he was passed fit to play and is on the bench, along with Eden Hazard and Axel Witsel, who has 110 caps, and is expected to get some time off the bench in his first outing since a serious Achilles tendon injury six months ago.

Timothy Castagne, who suffered an eye socket fracture against Russia last Saturday and is out of the tournament, is replaced by Thomas Meunier on the right of the attack in one of two changes by Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

The other is a straight swap at the back as Dedryck Boyata is replaced by Jason Denayer.

Teams:

Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel; Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjaer (captain), Jannik Vestergaard, Joakim Maehle; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Daniel Wass, Thomas Delaney; Yussuf Poulsen, Martin Braithwaite, Mikkel Damsgaard

Belgium: Thibaut Courtois; Jason Denayer, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen (captain), Thomas Meunier; Leander Dendoncker, Youri Tielemans, Thorgan Hazard; Yannick Carrasco, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Toby Davis)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Football

Soccer-U.S. women's team files appeal in gender discrimination lawsuit
Soccer-PSG extend Pochettino's contract to 2023
Soccer-Russia names Valeriy Karpin manager of men's team after early Euro exit
Soccer-Former Haiti head of referees given lifetime ban by FIFA for sexual harassment
Hodak warns KL to be wary of Selangor’s Olusegun and Buff
Soccer-Lauren James makes switch from Man Utd to Chelsea
Soccer-Man United complete Sancho signing from Dortmund
Soccer-Son signs new Tottenham deal until 2025
Soccer-Chelsea to begin Women's Super League title defence at Arsenal
Soccer-Van Gaal set for dramatic Dutch return

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers