Euro 2024: Germany aims to ride host-nation buzz against Denmark. Rudiger and Eriksen should be fit

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Germany takes on Denmark in the round of 16 at the European Championship on Saturday. Germany will have to make at least one change in defense for the game as it tries to carry the host-nation buzz deeper into the knockout stages. Kickoff is at 9 p.m. local (1900 GMT) in Dortmund. Here’s what to know about the match:

Match facts

— This is the only game in the round of 16 that features two unbeaten teams. Germany finished top of Group A with wins over Scotland and Hungary and a draw with Switzerland. Denmark drew all of its games against Slovenia, England and Serbia.

— Germany was eliminated by eventual runner-up England in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 and hasn’t won a knockout game at a major tournament since Euro 2016.

— Denmark went all the way to the semifinals at Euro 2020 before losing to England, its biggest success since winning the European title against the odds in 1992 — when it beat Germany in the final.

— Three games into its Euro 2024 campaign, the German team hasn’t yet ignited quite the same kind of patriotic fervor that it had at the 2006 World Cup. Flags have been popping up across the country and crowds in the stadiums are vocal, though, so a win over Denmark for a quarterfinal spot could build momentum.

Team news

— Germany will have to rethink the center of defense following a one-game suspension for Jonathan Tah, though fellow center half Antonio Rüdiger should have recovered in time after a hamstring injury. Nico Schlotterbeck is set to replace Tah, while Waldemar Anton is on standby for his first Euro 2024 appearance if Rüdiger doesn’t make it.

— Denmark’s inspirational midfielder, Christian Eriksen, missed training on Friday because of what Hjulmand described as “stomach issues” but is expected to be available. Thomas Delaney was also absent for the same reason.

— Danish midfielder Morten Hjulmand — no relation to coach Kasper Hjulmand — is suspended after picking up two yellow cards. Delaney is the favorite to replace him if he recovers.

— With six days between its last group game and the clash with Denmark, Germany had the benefit of extra rest. Coach Julian Nagelsmann gave his players a day off with their families on Tuesday. Denmark was playing that day and had two days fewer to rest.

By the numbers

— Kai Havertz is on course to make his 50th appearance for Germany. He has started all of Germany’s games so far at Euro 2024. Teammate Joshua Kimmich can play his 90th international game.

— Striker Niclas Füllkrug has scored 13 goals in 19 games for Germany and, being a Borussia Dortmund player, should get an especially warm reception from the Dortmund crowd.

— Denmark hasn’t beaten Germany since 2007, but three of their last four games have been draws. The most recent was 1-1 in a warmup for the 2021 Euros.

What they’re saying

— “The stadium is something very special because it’s simply the biggest in Germany, the most atmospheric in Germany. … We have triggered a little euphoria in Germany and are now trying to spread it.” — Germany defender Nico Schlotterbeck, who plays his club soccer in Dortmund.

— “I have always been here as the away team and it felt like the match started 1-0 for Dortmund because the crowd is so loud. I hope we get a similar pressure coming from the stands for our opponent.” — Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann, who used to be in charge of Bayern Munich.

— “There’s no doubt, for anything special to happen, it will have to be a bit of an upset. This mentality we embrace, we would like to tease the favorites and obviously Germany will be strong favorites here … we’ll try to be a bit of a pain and play to our strengths.” — Denmark defender Jannik Vestergaard.

— “I really love football here in Germany. And playing against Germany there, with the Danish team, can’t be better, I can’t wait. It’s a great team. But we are a great team as well. And when we play big nations we always step up.” — Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand.


Ellingworth reported from Duesseldorf, Germany.


AP Euro 2024:

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