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Sports

Pukki starts for Finland in Euro debut against Denmark

  • Pukki, who had been suffering from an ankle injury, declared himself fit on Friday and was named in Finland's starting line-up alongside captain Tim Sparv, who has overcome a knee issue to anchor the midfield.
Published June 12, 2021

Teemu Pukki will start up front as Finland make their debut at the finals of a major tournament when they take on Denmark in their European Championship Group B match in Copenhagen on Saturday.

Pukki, who had been suffering from an ankle injury, declared himself fit on Friday and was named in Finland's starting line-up alongside captain Tim Sparv, who has overcome a knee issue to anchor the midfield.

Finland's top scorer in qualifying, Pukki will have to face a quartet of tough Danish tacklers in defenders Simon Kjaer and Andreas Christensen and defensive midfielders Thomas Delaney and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg.

The Danish attack will be led by 22-year-old Jonas Wind, with Martin Braithwaite and Yussuf Poulsen flanking him in a three-man forward line and playmaker Christian Eriksen just behind them.

Both coaches, Kasper Hjulmand of Denmark and Finland's Markku Kanerva, stuck with their most reliable players for their Group B opener in front of 16,000 fans.

TEAMS:

Denmark: Kasper Schmeichel; Simon Kjaer (captain), Joakim Maehle, Andreas Christensen, Daniel Wass; Thomas Delaney, Christian Eriksen, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg; Martin Braithwaite, Jonas Wind, Yussuf Poulsen

Finland: Lukas Hradecky; Paulus Arajuuri, Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Jere Uronen, Jukka Raitala; Joona Toivio, Glen Kamara, Robin Lod, Tim Sparv (captain); Teemu Pukki, Joel Pohjanpalo.

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