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You can be certain that the Mitchell and Webb meme which asks ‘Are we the baddies?’ is on the mind of Wales supporters ahead of their clash with Denmark.
The Welsh won over a lot of football fans with their unexpected run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016, but after what happened to Christian Eriksen, it’s the Danes who have captured the hearts and minds of supporters across the continent this time around.
Fortunately for Wales, they don’t have to worry about the prospect of upsetting well-wishers who are rooting for the Danes, as the latter are firm favourites to win this match.
BBC One/ RTE
Looking at their record, it seems that if they aren’t playing Belgium then Denmark should be okay. Kasper Hjulmand’s side have only lost four matches in all competitions since the beginning of 2019, and three of them have been against the Belgians. The sight of Poirot in the TV listings brings Kasper Schmeichel out in hives, true story.
The other match they lost was their fateful encounter with Finland at the start of the group stage. Even then, the shot count read 22-1 in their favour, so they were incredibly unfortunate to lose.
And they won home and away against Wales when the nations clashed in the 2018/19 Nations League. As both sides retain many of the same players from those carefree, pre-Covid times, it seems a safe bet that the Danes will win once again.
Denmark were one of only five teams who reached the European Championship after going unbeaten through qualifying, and a big part of that was the strength of their defence.
After conceding three times to Switzerland in the opening match of qualification, they then only allowed three goals in the remaining seven games. They also shut out England – much like most of the EU does these days – in both Nations League meetings last year and haven’t conceded in their first three games of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup either.
Wales may have cut Turkey to ribbons in the Group Stage, but in their matches with Switzerland and Italy they only mustered 12 shots in total, with just three on target. Denmark look very capable of keeping a clean sheet so go for a ‘no’ in the both teams to score market.
Denmark have taken a lot of corners at Euro 2020. They are one of seven sides who have had at least 18, and three of the other six (including two of the three with 20+) were in Group A with Wales. In their matches with Robert Page’s side, Switzerland had 12 corners, Turkey 10 and Italy seven.
A lot of this is down to Wales’ style of defending, in that they block harder than I do whenever an election or referendum rolls around. In the Group Stage, Wales blocked 19 shots and three crosses, with the combined total of 22 more than any other team mustered. Lots of blocks equals lots of corners.
The Welsh also had a total of 11 shots blocked in their Nations League meetings with Denmark, with eight of them occurring once they were behind. As we can expect a similar outcome on Saturday, we could easily see over 11.5 corners here.
Based on their shooting form in the Group Stage, there are three Danes in the running for a goal scorer bet in this match. Martin Braithwaite has the joint-second most goal attempts of any player at Euro 2020, with 10, while only Alvaro Morata and Patrick Schick topped Joakim Maehle’s tally of four shots on target.
However, Yussuf Poulsen is Denmark’s top man for expected goals, and he just so happened to score in each of their last two games as well. He relied on defensive errors both times, but the RB Leipzig forward also netted in the Danes’ warm-up friendly draw with Germany, so he is their in-form man in front of goal.
Of the 16 teams who made the knockout phase, Wales conceded the most expected goals in the Group Stage, so Poulsen should get chances here and he can definitely put one away.
Wales v Denmark betting tips
A Paddy Power Bet Builder of the above 4 selections clocks in at 27/1
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