Kapser Hjulmand’s side pipped the Republic of Ireland to the second spot in qualifying Group D as the Swiss finished top but remarkably, the Danes remained unbeaten during their eight qualifiers. They won four – including an eye-catching 1-0 win away to the Swiss – and drew the other four but demonstrated their ability to blow their opponents out the water in their opening game. 

Switzerland were 3-0 up and cruising at home to Denmark with just six minutes to go until an extraordinary late barrage salvaged a point for the visitors as they scored three times late on. When the handbrake is off an it’s all clicking, Hjulmand’s team can play some thrilling football – they found the net 23 times in eight outings in the qualifiers. 


The Finns secured their place at this summer’s Euros after finishing four points clear of Greece in Group J. It was a momentous campaign for the Scandinavian nation as despite a couple of near-misses over the last decade, Finland have never before reached the finals of a major tournament. 

A thumping 3-0 win over Liechtenstein booked their place with a game to spare, while a 1-0 victory over Greece was Finland’s most eye-catching result. However, Markku Kanerva’s men go into the tournament in poor form – in their last six outings, they have been defeated by Wales, Sweden, Switzerland and most recently Estonia, and drawn with Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 


The Belgians’ ‘golden generation’ is approaching the peak of its powers heading into the European Championships and the side coached by Roberto Martinez are among the pre-tournament favourites to lift the trophy in a month’s time. 

The likes of Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, Inter Milan forward Romelu Lukaku and Real Madrid pair Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard require little by way of introduction, and Martinez’s star-studded squad have enough about them to give any country a run for their money. 

They were in imperious form during qualifying – winning all 10 games, providing 40 goals and shipping just three as the Red Devils cantered to top spot in Group I. With a core of the squad on the wrong side of 30, this could be the last hurrah for a few. 


The Russians will be intimately familiar with Belgium, having also featured in Group I in qualifying, and while Stanislav Cherchesov’s side came up short in both of their encounters their record elsewhere suggests they are not at this summer’s Euros simply to make up their numbers. 

Winning eight of their ten qualifiers – including comfortable home and away victories over Scotland – left Russia in a commanding position and after their shock over-performance at the World Cup they hosted in 2018 when they reached the final eight, Cherchesov will be feeling confident about building on that success and getting out of the group.  

SPFL interest 

There aren’t too many players with links to Scotland featuring in Group B. Rangers supporters will be keen to see how Glen Kamara fares with Finland while Celtic fans will recall Teemu Pukki, the striker who finished as his nation’s top scorer in qualifying with 10 to his name. 

Former Parkhead defender Dedryck Boyata, now at Hertha Berlin, has been included in the Belgian squad alongside fellow centre-half Jason Denayer, who spent a year on loan in Glasgow’s east end back in 2014. 


Denmark – Kasper Schmeichel 

The shot-stopper might not have quite reached the lofty heights that his father did in his playing career but the 34-year-old heads into the tournament in fine form. Schmeichel twice pulled off stunning reaction saves to deny Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell in the FA Cup final as the Foxes eked out a 1-0 win to lift the trophy, and it is no overstatement to suggest that they would have lost without him. 

Schmeichel will be hoping for more of the same once the Euros kick off and will no doubt be encouraged after securing four clean sheets in his last five outings for his country, with Germany’s Florian Neuhaus the only man to put the ball past him. 

Finland – Teemu Pukki 

The Norwich City striker’s time in Glasgow never really worked out after he was recruited by Ronny Deila but the centre-forward hasn’t looked back since making the move down south.  

Pukki has been happy to carry the goalscoring mantle for club and country in recent years and if he can be nullified then the Finns can be left looking a little toothless: of the 16 goals that Finland scored during qualifying, 10 came from Pukki. Coming off the back of a season where he finished as the third top scorer in the English Championship with 26 to his name, the 31-year-old heads to the Euros as one of the continent’s in-form strikers for club and country. 

Belgium – Romelu Lukaku 

Martinez’s squad is littered with players who ply their trade at the very top of European football and there is no shortage of star men to point to, but Belgium’s No.9 might just be the most influential. 

Goals have never been a problem for Lukaku but his all-round play has come on significantly ever since he swapped Old Trafford for the San Siro two years ago. The centre-forward chipped in with 24 goals as Inter secured a first Scudetto since 2010 – only Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo scored more – but perhaps tellingly, he had more goal involvements (a goal or an assist) than anyone else in the league. 

Russia – Aleksandr Golovin 

Along with Denis Cheryshev, Golovin was one of the hometown heroes at the Russian World Cup three years ago and the midfielder’s influence in Cherchesov’s side has only grown since. The playmaker scored once and teed up another two goals back in 2018, winning a big-money move to Monaco in Ligue 1. 

The 25-year-old provides the creativity in a Russia team that can run out of ideas without him and most of the play goes through him. If Golovin can be stifled, the Russians’ attacking threat is significantly hampered