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Christian Eriksen set to make emotional Brentford debut

Brentford's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen holding up a Brentford shirt as he is introduced to members of the media at a photocall inside Brentford Community Stadium in London

FILE - Brentford's Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen holding up a Brentford shirt as he is introduced to members of the media at a photocall inside Brentford Community Stadium in London. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Published Feb 25, 2022

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London — Brentford manager Thomas Frank has confirmed Christian Eriksen will make his first competitive appearance since suffering a cardiac arrest last year when the Dane is given his debut against Newcastle on Saturday.

Frank confirmed on Friday that Eriksen would play some part this weekend at the Brentford Community Stadium after proving his fitness in two behind-closed-doors friendlies.

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Eriksen's brush with death occurred while he was playing for Denmark against Finland in the European Championship in June.

"Christian will be in the squad and he will get on the pitch tomorrow," Frank told reporters. "It is a big day for all of us, but especially Christian and his family.

"When he is in training, it is really remarkable the things he has been doing."

Eriksen was released by Inter Milan after his cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 due to health regulations in Italy that forbid players with implantable cardioverter defibrillators from featuring in Serie A.

But the former Tottenham star was determined to get back in action once he got the go-ahead from medical staff.

Eriksen trained with the reserves at his former club Ajax in January before linking up with Brentford, whose boss, Frank, had worked with the player in Denmark's youth teams.

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The 30-year-old joined Brentford on a six-month contract and gave a glimpse of his progress in the friendlies against Southend and a Rangers XI, providing both assists in the latter match on Monday.

Whether Eriksen starts or appears as a substitute against Newcastle remains to be seen, although coming off the bench seems more likely at this stage.

"I have to leave it on a bit of a cliffhanger but he will get on the pitch tomorrow," Frank joked.

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When he finally steps onto the pitch to a hero's welcome, it will complete the midfielder's incredible recovery and Frank knows it promises to be an emotional occasion for everyone connected to Eriksen.

"For everyone who saw what happened, it's another reminder that we are privileged to be alive and to appreciate every moment," he said.

AFP

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