'Pukki will be treated like Messi or Ronaldo''

File photo dated 06-09-2020 of Finland's Teemu Pukki. Issue date: Tuesday June 1, 2021.

Norwich City's Teemu Pukki is aiming for more success, this time with Finland, who kick off their Euro 2020 campaign against Denmark - Credit: PA


Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand will prepare his side for the threat of Finland frontman Teemu Pukki as if they were coming up against Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo in their Euro 2020 opener in Copenhagen.

Norwich forward Pukki, now recovered from ankle ligament damage suffered at the end of the Championship campaign, scored 10 of Finland's 16 goals as they qualified for a first appearance at a major tournament in second place behind Group J winners Italy.

The fitness and form of Pukki, who returned to action as a substitute for the closing stages of last week's friendly defeat to Estonia, will be key to the hopes of the Eagle Owls making an impact this summer.

Hjulmand, though, is confident Denmark have done their homework on every key man they are likely to face at Euro 2020.

"We will do as we do with all our opponents - we analyse their strengths and how we can prevent their threats," Hjulmand said.

"We know Pukki. With the analysis we all work with, no one can be surprised and we are prepared.

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"We are not going to ignore all his qualities, just like you would not ignore Messi or Ronaldo's qualities.

"We know what is coming. He is good at what he is doing, we have talked about it and are prepared for it.

"All the teams in the Euros know each other so well - we have been analysing each other for months and we are well prepared."

Pukki has been training normally for the past 10 days and reported no fresh fitness issues with his ankle ahead of Finland's moment in the spotlight.

"We have been waiting for this day," he said.

"There is a football fever in Finland at the moment, and it is good to see, with a lot of support messages and supporter songs.

"We do not need any extra motivation. Finnish football has been waiting for this moment for a long time.

"I feel in normal shape and am ready to play as much as the coach will allow me to."
 

MATCH FACTS

Kick-off: Saturday June 12, 5pm
Where: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen
TV coverage: BBC One
Referee: Anthony Taylor
 

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