Russia v Denmark: Go under 2.5 goals in Copenhagen decider

Dave Tindall previews Monday evening's match in Group B and says goals could be in short supply at the Parken Stadium...

Russia back in the hunt but still in danger

After being brushed aside 3-0 by Belgium in their opening game, Russia's Euro 2020 campaign was immediately on rocky ground.

It looked to be getting even worse when Joel Pohjanpalo - the scorer of Finland's winner against Denmark - headed home in the opening half of their second match.

To Russian relief, it was chalked off for marginal offside and the hosts finally brought the home St Petersburg crowd to life via an excellent curling Aleksei Miranchuk strike in first-half injury time.

They held on to beat Finland 1-0 but this is a limited side and the group dynamics are against them with goal difference the first decider if points tallies are tied.

Despite having a win, a goal difference of minus two means they could still finish bottom on three points and crash out.

If they lose here, that will lead to a goal difference of minus three at best and then they'd have to hope Belgium give Finland are bit of a hammering.

And one huge thing to note, despite being listed first, Russia lose home advantage for this one. After two games in St Petersburg, their fate will be decided in Denmark.

Door still open for Danes

Two defeats - 0-1 v Finland and 1-2 v Belgium - would normally have ended Denmark's hopes but with four of the best third-placed teams going through they still have a chance to make the knockout stage.

Their first loss came on the shocking night when Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest. Everything was secondary that evening although with Eriksen now out of hospital it's appropriate to recall what did happen in the game.

Basically, they had all the chances, missed a penalty and Finland scored with their only effort. By all standard measures, they were unlucky to lose.

The positive news surrounding Eriksen's recovery meant the atmosphere inside the Parken Stadium was incredible last Thursday night for their second game against Belgium.

And with the nation wanting to 'do it for Christian', Denmark's players were like men possessed, blowing Belgium away in the first half and taking an early lead through Yussuf Poulsen.

Belgium finally got up to speed after the break and then played their trump card of Kevin de Bruyne. The Manchester City star was introduced from the bench, setting up the equaliser and thumping home the winner to give the visitors six points out of six.

Martin Braithwaite almost rescued a point and it would have been deserved: Denmark dominated the shot count 21-6.

Danes odds-on in Copenhagen

When previewing this Group from the outset, it was always going to be significant that Denmark had home advantage for this one after both had enjoyed playing in front of their own fans for the first two match days.

The atmosphere will be even greater as Denmark prepares to pull together as a nation again and the extra intensity could just be too much for Russia.

Belgium rode it out and then had the class to fight back but Russia simply don't have the same attacking weapons.

The big question is whether Denmark have the composure in front of goal, something Eriksen would have provided of course, to turn all their chances - 43 across their first two matches - into goals.

Poulsen and Braithwaite aren't prolific although the law of averages suggests if they keep creating over 20 chances per game, a couple will go in.

Denmark are 1.75 to get the win which would still give them hope of qualification while Russia are 5.3.

The Draw, which is no use for Denmark but would suit Russia is 4.1.

Russia won the only previous meeting in the Parken Stadium 1-0 back in 2012 and their price is big enough if you take the line that this tournament just isn't meant to be for the Danes.

The hosts look short but Russia don't have much in attack so that brings into play Denmark to win to nil. That's a more acceptable 2.88 although it hardly leaps off the page.

Unders makes appeal

Both teams have managed just a single goal each while playing out a dour 0-0 would more than suit Russia.

With that the case, Under 2.5 Goals is surely the sensible bet in this one at 1.92.

Yes, there's an argument that if Denmark score first, Russia will have to go for it. But then surely the Danes will then just decide to defend themselves.

Goal difference complicates matters a little if Denmark want to be one of the best third-placed teams but they could still finish second if Finland are losing by a few to Belgium.

In short, I don't see this being a gung-ho, end-to-end affair and the lack of goalscorers in either team must give Unders a strong chance.

Poulsen worth a look on Bet Builder

I'm clearly not expecting a glut of goals but, if playing a scorer, I'd always rather back someone already off the mark in a tournament rather than than someone who is 'due' one.

In that case I'd have Poulsen over Braithwaite or any other Danish forward following his goal against Belgium.

Looking at the Bet Builder, Poulsen to score and Under 2.5 goals is just over 11.0.

Artem Dzyuba was the big Russian hope coming into the tournament but he's been firing blanks so far. Dzyuba to score in a Draw is 10.6.

Opta stat

Denmark have scored with just one of their last 50 shots at the European Championships, with 17 different players attempting a shot without scoring in that run. In their 2-1 defeat to Belgium, Martin Braithwaite had seven shots without finding the net, the most by a Danish player in a Euros match since Preben Elkjær Larsen had 10 against Spain at Euro 1984.

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