AIPS** in PRAGUE: Most people can relate to that feeling of having an awkward neighbour but who can be best of friends on holiday.
Such is the nature of the Danish-Swedish relationship, although on Saturday the two countries might be the worst enemies rather than the best of friends.
Separated only by the Oresund Sea, the neighbours face each other tonight in the semi-finals of the UEFA U21 Euro in the Czech Republic.
Danish right back Alexander Scholz said: “It is funny to have a Scandinavian rivalry in the semi-finals and maybe it´s a bit unexpected, too.
“This is like brotherhood. You don‘t know if you like each other or hate each other.”
Fans arriving from both countries will enliven the atmosphere in the Letná stadium, home of Sparta Prague.
Denmark coach Jes Thorup said: “I think it will be a great game in a great backdrop with plenty of blue-yellow and red-white colours on the stands.
“Hopefully it will be a match worthy of a semi-final.”
The two teams met in a friendly before the tournament that ended in a 2-2 draw.
A red card for Denmark after only 15 minutes said a lot about the tension between the two nations, but the following reaction tells even more.
Scholz recalled: “They [Sweden] were really friendly about it, and wanted us to include an extra player, so we could have an even game.
“The referee didn’t let us but that shows we have good respect for each other.
“It’s going to be nice to meet them in the semi-final, but it will be a nervous game, too.
“These are two teams that know each other well.”
Andri Yrkill Valsson and Frederikke Amalie Muff
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide and is co-operating with UEFA in running a Young Reporters course at UEFA U21 EURO in the Czech Republic. More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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