Euro 2020: England face Denmark in the second semi-final at Wembley

England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 and Denmark beat Czech Republic 2-1 in the last-8; England hasn't conceded a goal in the competition so far.

England national teams training session ahead of their Euro 2020 semi-final clash against Denmark in Wembley; Credit: Twitter/@England

England play Denmark in Wembley on Wednesday for a place in the final of Euro 2020 against Italy. Denmark has become the dark horse of the tournament. The Sandinavian nation qualified for the semi-finals after a 2-1 win over Czech Republic whereas England thrashed Ukraine 4-0 in the quarterfinals. England head coach Gareth Southgate, who missed the crucial penalty in England’s semi-final loss to Germany in Euro 1996 will be aiming for a redemption by guiding his side through to the final at Wembley stadium.

Denmark have reached the semi-finals of the European championship for the first time since 1992. Meanwhile in 1992 they went on to win their first major international competition when they beat Germany to lift the trophy in Sweden.

How both teams reached Euro 2020 semis

The Three Lions started their campaign with a 1-0 win against Croatia before being held by Scotland for a goalless draw. However they overcame Czech Republic courtesy of Raheem Sterling’s second goal of the competition to book a place in the last-16 as group winners. England’s biggest test was against Germany in the round of 16. Southgate’s side overcame the three time champions 2-0 with a professional and tactical display of football.

In the quarter-finals, captain Harry Kane scored in either half to take his tally to three for the campaign after a mediocre start to the tournament. Meanwhile Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson got on the score sheet in the second half to complete the proceedings and take England to their second consecutive semi-final appearance in a major tournament. Three years ago England reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup held in Russia.

Denmark had a horror start to Euro 2020 as their captain and talisman Christian Eriksen collapsed on the field in the 1-0 loss against Finland and came back to life, thanks to immediate medical assistance. However the Danes showed great courage and determination to recover after the horrific incident and booked a place in the last-16 as runner-up from Group B behind Belgium courtesy of a 4-1 win against Russia in the final group game. It was their solitary victory in the group stage.

Meanwhile they routed Wales 4-0 in the last-16 before overcoming the Czech’s through goals from Thomas Delaney and Kasper Dolberg. Although Partik Schik pulled one back for the Czech’s, in the end it wasn’t enough.

Strong English defence

Southgate has a very flexible squad as we saw in the previous games. They played with five defenders against the superior German’s but reverted to a 4-2-3-1 formation against Ukraine. Southgate is unlikely to make any changes to the tactics when they face Denmark. England’s defence has been the best in the tournament, they haven’t conceded a goal so far. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford along with the two central defenders Harry Maguire and John Stones are pretty solid. Right-back Kyle Walker is versatile enough to play as a central defender also if needed. Luke Shaw’s powerful runs down the left flank can exploit Denmark’s right wing which plays high up the pitch.

Declan Rica and Kalvin Phillips are the two defensive midfielders. Both of them are big and strong and provide the much needed cover for the defence, but they lack creativity and attacking prowess. However they allow the likes of Mason Mount, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Bukayo Saka to play freely up front.

Jadon Sancho came in for injured Saka in the previous game and gave a good account of himself, but Saka is likely to come back into the starting eleven as he has done well in the previous games. Jack Grealish is a more than handy player on the bench who has been impressive off the bench. The Aston Villa man was pivotal in the win against Germany.

Denmark’s possible starting lineup

On the other hand Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand plays with a 5-2-3 formation with Kasper Schmeichel in goal. Captain Simon Kjaer along with Jannik Vestergaard and Andreas Christensen will form the three-man central defence. Meanwhile Daniel Wass is fit to start at right-wing back but, the boss may not to start with him ahead of Jans Larsen who provided the assist for Delaney’s goal in the previous game.

In the left-wing Joakim Maehle is a sure starter, his sublime cross with the outside of his right foot paved the way for the winning goal in the last game. Pierre Emile-Hojberg and Tomas Delaney will pull the strings from the midfield. Martin Braithwaite and Mikkel Damsgaard will play up front with Dolberg as the main striker.

How the teams will play in Euro 2020 semis

England certainly looks like the stronger team. They have a very strong bench strength and the defence is very solid. Meanwhile with Harry Kane back in form they are more than capable of scoring goals and holding onto the lead.

However Denmark’s best chance to score would be to attack down the flanks as England is very strong in the middle. If Larsen and Wass could use the flanks along with the pace of Braithwaite and Damsgaard to deliver good quality balls to Dolberg in the penalty area they can break the England defence.

They have scored 11 goals in the competition so far which means they are clinical up front.

Italy are already through to the final, having beaten Spain 4-2 on penalties.

Sportslumo Desk

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