Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016

Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all vying for a spot in Euro 2016 in France next summer, but the Scandinavian rivals could knock one another out at the playoff stages.

Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016
Denmark's Pierre Emile Højbjerg (left) and Simon Kjær (right) will find out their playoff foe on Sunday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix 2015)
Sweden, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine and Hungary, was announced on Wednesday as one of the four seeded teams for the Euro 2016 playoffs when the draw is made on Sunday.
Under the seeding system, each of the four teams considered strongest by UEFA will play one of the four other teams left in the competition in two-legged play-offs, at home and away.
So, in a draw on Sunday, UEFA will reveal whether Sweden will take on Denmark, Norway, Ireland or Slovenia. If it’s not a Sweden-Denmark matchup, the Danes will face off against Ukraine, Bosnia or Hungary. 
Denmark missed out on its chance to automatically qualify for Euro 2016 when it fell 0-1 to Portugal on Thursday and Albania easily topped Armenia on Sunday. 
Football expert Morten Bruun said that Ukraine would likely pose the toughest challenge to the Danes. 
“Ukraine has several players who play at the highest level and on the biggest European clubs, Bosnia and Herzegovina have a few, Sweden has one while Hungary doesn’t really have any,” he told Jyllands-Posten. 
Denmark’s national coach Morten Olsen said his team would be ready regardless of its opponent. 
“Whether it is Sweden, Ukraine or Bosnia, we have a history with all of them, both good and bad. But it’s important to stress that history is irrelevant here. Whoever we meet, it comes down to our performance on game day,” Olsen told Jyllands-Posten. 
In all 24 teams will contest the Euro finals in France next summer – the most ever – with France assured of qualification as hosts.
The top two teams from the nine qualification groups have already scored their spots in the competition, as well as Turkey, who were the best-placed team finishing third.
That left four places to be decided in two leg playoffs, contested by the rest of the teams placing third.
The first legs will be held from November 12th – 14th with the return matches on November 15th – 17th.

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‘I’m fine — under the circumstances’: Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital

Christian Eriksen, the Danish football player who collapsed on the pitch in his country's opening Euro 2020 game, said that he was doing "fine" in an Instagram post from hospital on Tuesday.

'I’m fine — under the circumstances': Collapsed Danish striker tweets from hospital
Danish striker Christian Eriksen tweeted a picture of himself in hospital. Photo: DBU

“I’m fine — under the circumstances, I still have to go through some examinations at the hospital, but I feel okay,” he wrote in a post accompanying a photo of him smiling and giving a thumbs-up while lying in bed.

In a scene that shocked the sporting world and beyond, the 29-year-old Inter Milan midfielder suddenly collapsed on the field in the 43rd minute of Denmark’s Group B game on Saturday against Finland in Copenhagen.


Medical personnel administered CPR as he lay motionless on the field for about 15 minutes before being carried off the pitch and rushed to hospital. He was later confirmed to have suffered cardiac arrest.

“Big thanks for your sweet and amazing greetings and messages from all around the world. It means a lot to me and my family,” he wrote in Tuesday’s post. “Now, I will cheer on the boys on the Denmark team in the next matches. Play for all of Denmark.”