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Euro 2020: England vs Denmark Preview

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Euro 2020: England vs Denmark Preview

England can reach the final of the European Championships for the very first time tonight if they defeat Denmark at Wembley Stadium with kick-off at 8 pm UK time.

Italy awaits the winners of tonight’s fixture after they defeated Spain last night in a penalty shoot-out at Wembley Stadium. Chelsea midfielder Jorginho slotted away the winning penalty to take the Italians to their first major final since the 2012 edition of the European Championships.

 

Wembley awaits

England will have home advantage once again in the tournament, with their quarter-final in Rome against Ukraine being the only Three Lion’s fixture to be played away from Wembley Stadium.

More than 60,000 fans are expected to be inside the stadium for tonight’s fixture, with around 5,000 UK-based Danish fans allowed to support their team in-person, as Denmark currently remain on the UK Amber Travel List, meaning that ten days of quarantine would be required upon arrival.

 

Road to the semi-finals

England topped their group after picking up victories against Croatia and the Czech Republic, with a draw against Scotland leaving them top of the group on seven points. They then faced Germany in their Round of 16 fixture, with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane giving the Three Lion’s a magical 2-0 win over the team that knocked them out of the 1996 European Championships at the old Wembley Stadium.

Denmark suffered a defeat to Finland in the opening game of their tournament, but that game was overshadowed by the horrific scenes involving Christian Eriksen when he suffered a cardiac arrest shortly before half-time. He has been released from the hospital and has been invited to attend the final of the tournament alongside the medics that saved his life by the UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

They scored two minutes into their second group game against Belgium, but two second-half goals from the Red Devil’s was enough to give the world’s highest-ranked side victory. Denmark progressed to the Round of 16 after claiming victory against Russia with a fantastic 4-1 victory, which left them second in the group.

Denmark faced Wales in the Round of 16 in Amsterdam, with goals from Joakim Mæhle, Martin Braithwaite and two from Kasper Dolberg giving the Dane’s a 4-0 victory over the Euro 2016 semi-finalists.

 

How will they line-up?

England has predominantly played with a 4-3-3 formation, with the Germany match being the only exception when they opted for a 3-4-3 formation to match the style and formation of the three-time European Champions.

Harry Maguire, Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice were all one caution away from missing this semi-final match, but all previous yellow cards were wiped after the quarter-final stage ended meaning that even if these players pick up another yellow card in this game, they won’t miss a potential final unless they receive a red card.

England and Denmark have no fresh injury concerns heading into this crucial match, with Christian Eriksen being the only player unavailable. Bukayo Saka missed the quarter-final against Ukraine but is expected to be passed fit and to be fighting for a starting spot tonight.

Jordan Pickford has played every minute of football so far for England and is expected to keep his place in goal. He is now guaranteed to win the Golden Glove after Italy conceded last night.

With England expected to play with a four-man defence, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are all expected to keep their places.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips have impressed in the midfield so far in this tournament and are expected to play together for the sixth time this tournament. Mason Mount, who had to isolate after being in close contract to Billy Gilmour who tested positive for COVID-19 after the England vs Scotland game, is also expected to keep his place in the side.

With Saka back in contention, he is expected to return to the starting XI in favour of Jadon Sancho. Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are also expected to keep their places for the game against Denmark.

Kasper Schmeichel has played in every game so far for Denmark and is expected to play a vital role in this game too. With the Danes playing a back three in all but their opening match, they are expected to continue this into the England game. Andreas Christensen, Simon Kjær and Jannik Vestergaard have been the regular choices and it is unlikely that they will opt for anything different in this game.

The right-wing-back slot is between Daniel Wass and Jens Stryger Larsen. Wass started the three group matches but it has been Larsen who started against Wales and the Czech Republic in the knock-out matches and therefore should start ahead of Wass. The left-wing-back slot is a lot easier with Joakim Mæhle starting every game so far this tournament.

Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg have been partnered together in the midfield for every game since Denmark started to play the 3-4-3 formation. It is expected that the pair will continue in these roles for this game.

Martin Braithwaite, Mikkel Damsgaard and Kasper Dolberg have been the regular front-three in the tournament and are likely to keep their place in the starting XI.

 

England Predicted Starting XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Phillips, Rice, Mount, Saka, Sterling, Kane ©

Denmark Predicted Starting XI: Schmeichel, Christensen, Kjær ©, Vestergaard, Larsen, Mæhle, Højbjerg, Delaney, Braithwaite, Damsgaard, Dolberg

 

Officials

The referee for this game will be Danny Makkelie of the Netherlands, who was in charge of England’s victory over Germany. Hessel Steegstra and Jan de Vries, both of the Netherlands, are the assistant referees. Ovidiu Hategan of Romania is the fourth official. He was in charge of Northern Ireland’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Play-off against Switzerland where he awarded the Swiss a controversial penalty when Corry Evans was deemed to have handled the ball. Sebastian Gheorghe of Romania will be the reserve assistant referee.

The Video Assistant Referee will be in use for tonight’s match, with the responsibility being handed to Pol van Boekel of the Netherlands, who will be joined by Kevin Blom of the Netherlands, Christian Gittelman of Germany and Pawel Gil of Poland as the assistant VAR officials. The referee observer for the match will be Roberto Rosetti of Italy.

 

Can the Lions rise to the occasion?

There wouldn’t have been many people who really thought both Denmark and England would have a chance to reach the final of the European Championships. England were amongst the titles favourites and have a fantastic youthful squad to choose from, but many thought they lacked the ‘big game’ experience and haven’t really been tested in that department, with the game against Germany being their biggest test so far.

Denmark also hasn’t had the most difficult route to the semi-finals. Three points were enough for them to finish second in their group and games against Wales and the Czech Republic didn’t provide much of an opportunity to raise their game against much stronger opponents.

The home advantage should be really useful for England but questions still remain on whether or not they can handle the pressure, but so far they have passed every test.

Denmark are being fuelled on by ‘playing for Christian’ and will want to show the world that they are more than a one-man team, something that are definitely doing in this tournament.

Italy will be a tough test for whoever makes the final, they have had some really difficult matches so far in this tournament, but with Europe watching can football really come home? First step: beat Denmark.

 

Match Facts

Head to Head

  • England and Denmark have faced off 21 times before with the most recent fixture coming in the UEFA Nations League in November 2021, a 1-0 win to Denmark.
  • England has won 12 of the matches, losing five and drawing four against Denmark.
  • There have only been three 0-0 draws, so goals should be expected.

 

England

  • England’s run to the semi-finals of Euro 2020 equals their best ever European Championship performance, which was in 1996 when they last hosted the finals.
  • They are yet to concede a goal in the tournament with Jordan Pickford guaranteed to win the Golden Glove.

 

Denmark

  • They won the 1992 European Championships despite not even qualifying. Yugoslavia was disqualified and Denmark took their place at the last minute.
  • Christian Eriksen was the last player to score a hat-trick for Denmark. His three goals came back in 2017 against the Republic of Ireland when they ran out 5-1 winners in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Playoff.

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Euro 2020: England vs Denmark Preview.’ What are your predictions for the match? Let us know!

 

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Richard is a Multimedia Sports Journalism student at the University of Northampton. He is an accredited British GT Journalist and runs his own motorsport website. He has also written about the Northern Ireland national football team, the Irish Premiership and the lower leagues in Northamptonshire.

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