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Euro 2020: England face Denmark as they eye first major final for 55 years

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Euro 2020 semi-final: England v Denmark
Date: Wednesday, 7 July. Kick-off: 20:00 BST. Venue: Wembley Stadium. Coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Highlights on BBC One at 23:20 BST; Full replay on BBC One 00:55 Thursday; Text commentary, report and highlights on the BBC Sport website.

England are preparing to face Denmark in the semi-finals of Euro 2020 at Wembley on Wednesday, knowing victory will secure them a place in a major men's tournament final for the first time since 1966.

Gareth Southgate's side will face Italy in Sunday's final if they defeat the Danes in front of around 60,000 mostly England fans at Wembley.

Millions more are expected to cheer the Three Lions on from home, in pubs and designated fan parks after a peak TV audience of 20.9 million watched them cruise past Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals last Saturday.

"We don't have as good a football history as we like to believe sometimes," said Southgate. "These players are making massive strides and breaking down barriers all the time.

"We have never been to a European Championship final so we can be the first England team to do that which is really exciting."

Travel restrictions imposed by the UK to curb the spread of coronavirus means fans based in Denmark will not be able to cheer on their team at Wembley.

Instead some 6,000 tickets for the semi-final have been made available to Danes living in the UK. The Danish FA has sent 1,000 jerseys and other red and white merchandise to London for fans attending.

England, who have never won the European Championship, are looking to reach a first major tournament final for 55 years.

They have appeared in five previous World Cup or European Championship semi-finals but only advanced once.

However, there is mounting excitement – and hope has turned to expectation – that Southgate's side can deliver a first major tournament triumph since the 1966 World Cup.

Cars and homes are decked out with England flags while pubs have been given permission to stay open an extra 45 minutes until 23:15 BST on Sunday, in case the final at Wembley, which kicks-off at 20:00, goes to extra time and penalties.

Meanwhile, England supporters have been serenading their team through the tournament with chants of 'Football's Coming Home', the anthem that first became popular when the Three Lions reached the Euro 96 semi-finals.

Asked what it would mean to ruin England's dreams of Euro glory, Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel said: "Has it ever been home? I don't know. Have you ever won it?"

But England captain Harry Kane said the team was in a strong position to put that right.

"He's right in terms it hasn't 'come home' in this competition for us," said Kane. "We know if we can get it right then it should be enough to get us over the line."

'We can make history' – SouthgateDenmark's journey through the eyes of the countryPick your England XI to face Denmark

Will Southgate make changes and what formation?

Содержание статьи:

Nineteen-year-old Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka has recovered from the knock that forced him to miss the Ukraine win but Southgate must decide whether to stick with the same XI that started in Rome or make changes.

The England boss used a 4-2-3-1 formation last time out and has to choose whether to revert back to a 3-4-3 set-up with the aim of stifling the Danes.

England have 'very special opportunity' in semi-final – Southgate

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand has no fresh injury concerns and could name an unchanged starting line-up for the third game despite the head coach admitting that fatigue is a concern.

Hjulmand said on Monday "the tank was emptied" during the quarter-final win over the Czech Republic.

How Shaw went from fall-guy to Euro 2020 starKane as dangerous as Ronaldo, says former Denmark bossListen to the latest Daily Euros podcast from BBC Radio 5 Live

'We are ready'

Euro 2020 has already seen England end a 55-year wait for a knockout tie victory over Germany but Southgate is only too aware the Three Lions have fallen agonisingly short on their past four semi-final appearances at major tournaments.

In 2018, his side were denied a place in the World Cup final after an extra time defeat to Croatia in Moscow.

"We are ready for the game, the players are ready, they have got tremendous experience themselves having been in this situation before," said Southgate.

"Our preparations have been calm and we know we are playing a very good opponent. It's going to be a really tight game and an exciting game for everybody."

How tough will Denmark be?

Denmark have become one of the stories of the tournament and have gone from strength to strength since the trauma of their opening game, when midfielder Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest.

Former Tottenham player Eriksen, who has since been discharged from hospital, scored the winner from the penalty spot the last time Denmark visited Wembley to play England in the Nations League in October 2020, as Harry Maguire was sent off.

The Danes, who lost their first two games to Finland and Belgium, have won three matches in a row to reach the semi-finals.

It is nearly three decades since the Danes shocked the continent with their victory at Euro 1992, taking advantage of a late call-up to the finals to produce their country's greatest sporting moment.

They are just two Wembley wins away from writing another fairytale.

"We almost lost our best player, our best friend and the heart of the team," said Hjulmand. "We have tried to fight through these emotions and we have played fantastic football.

"We've shown who we are and I am very proud."

Watch: Doing Eriksen proud – Denmark's incredible journey continuesDenmark & Belgium pay tribute to Eriksen

'Denmark to score – but England to win'

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson

Denmark have been on an amazing journey since the trauma of Eriksen's cardiac arrest.

They play very much an English style of football in that they are physical when they need to be, but they have got some skilful players in key areas.

They will give England a good game, and I think they will become the first side to score against Gareth Southgate's side at Euro 2020.

I still think England will have too much for them, but it might not be Southgate's first-choice team that sees them off – it might be the forwards who come off the bench in the second half who do that.

Lawro's prediction: England to win 2-1

Euro 2020: Gary Lineker says England have been 'near to perfect'

'Home advantage plays a big role'

England have a 68% chance of beating Denmark and securing a place in the European Championship final, according to Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at sports data company Nielsen's Gracenote.

"Home advantage plays a big role in this, increasing England's winning chance by 12% and reducing Denmark's by the same," he said.

Gleave said Denmark's chances of winning Euro 2020 had risen to 14.3%. "They will be England's toughest opposition to date [at Euro 2020]," he said.

MATCH STATS

Head-to-head

England's only win in their past six competitive games against Denmark was a 3-0 victory in the round of 16 at the 2002 World Cup.The only other match at a major tournament between England and Denmark was a goalless draw in the group stage of Euro 92 – a tournament the Danes went on to win.The seven meetings between the sides at Wembley have all ended 1-0, with England recording five wins and Denmark two.

England

England won their first semi-final at a major tournament, beating Portugal at the 1966 World Cup, but have been eliminated in their subsequent four matches at this stage (the 1990 and 2018 World Cups plus Euro 68 and 96). They were also beaten by the Dutch in the semi-finals of the Nations League in 2019.Kane's total of nine goals at major tournaments is one shy of the England record, held by Gary Lineker. Luke Shaw's total of three assists during this tournament equals the record for an Englishman at a single European Championship, matching David Beckham's haul at Euro 2000.Before Wednesday's game, England have played 36 matches at the European Championship – the most of any side without reaching at least one final.

Denmark

Denmark were eliminated at this stage of the European Championship by the USSR in 1964 and lost to Spain on penalties in 1984, but won a shootout against the Netherlands to advance to the final of Euro 92 – which they won.Their 29-year gap between European Championship semi-finals appearances is the longest by any nation.Hjulmand's side have scored 11 goals at Euro 2020. It is Denmark's highest total in a single edition of a major tournament, surpassing the 10 they netted at the 1986 World Cup.Forward Mikkel Damsgaard has scored three goals and assisted four in his seven games for Denmark.Around the BBC - SoundsWas 2016 the ultimate year for music?: James Acaster tries to convince other comedians it wasDeath in Ice Valley: Some graves hold more secrets than others…commentsView Comments239

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239 commentsShowLatestOldestHighest RatedMost RepliedC

Comment posted by Champ20ns, at 23:51 6 JulChamp20ns

23:51 6 JulOnly England could play five games so far without conceding a goal, yet still get criticised. While Scotland got praised for getting one point in the group stage.7219D

Reply posted by DistressedScot, at 23:55 6 JulDistressedScot

23:55 6 Julto Champ20ns"Only England could play five games so far without conceding a goal, yet still get criticised. While Scotland got praised for getting one point in the group stage."DistressedScot replied: Typical “expectations” of the English media. So full of themselves.2617More replies (13)downQ

Comment posted by qwertyasd, at 23:55 6 Julqwertyasd

23:55 6 JulGareth Southgate’s comment “We don’t have as good a football history as we would like to believe” makes a refreshing change from the “over hype” spouted by many previous managers. It is this sort of realism that may be the reason for this squads performance to date.523F

Reply posted by FP, today at 00:02FP

00:02to qwertyasd"Gareth Southgate’s comment “We don’t have as good a football history as we would like to believe” makes a refreshing change from the “over hype” spouted by many previous managers. It is this sort of realism that may be the reason for this squads performance to date."FP replied: Agreed. Many examples of the gulf between domestic transfer fees and international performance of England players:

– Andy Carroll
– Phil Jones
– Adam Lallana
– Danny Drinkwater

…..to name a recent few.

Although, an all English UCL final in 2019 & 2021 may have finally helped with the big game experience and elite mentality too.113More replies (5)downT

Comment posted by Tris v3, at 23:56 6 JulTris v3

23:56 6 JulDenmark have lost to only 2 teams since 2016. Belgium and Finland. During this period they’ve played England twice, winning and drawing.

It is going to be so difficult for us tomorrow and we’ll need our best performance of the competition to go through.355C

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Reply posted by capri14, today at 00:19capri14

00:19to Tris v3"Denmark have lost to only 2 teams since 2016. Belgium and Finland. During this period they’ve played England twice, winning and drawing.It is going to be so difficult for us tomorrow and we’ll need our best performance of the competition to go through."capri14 replied: Finland was an outlier in every possible way92More replies (6)downJ

Comment posted by Just to watch , at 23:50 6 JulJust to watch

23:50 6 JulLets just take this one game at a time forget about Italy. Beat Denmark and then we can focus on the next game dont think of the future think of what game is next.231L

Reply posted by Lets Agree To Disagree, today at 00:29Lets Agree To Disagree

00:29to Just to watch "Lets just take this one game at a time forget about Italy. Beat Denmark and then we can focus on the next game dont think of the future think of what game is next."Lets Agree To Disagree replied: Cannot even think of Italy until around 11pm tomorrow. 100% focus should be on Denmark. England cannot underestimate them.160More replies (3)downD

Comment posted by Dubbus, today at 00:21Dubbus

00:21Considering Denmark lost their first 2 games and are now in the semi’s they have shown great character but if England play like they have all tournament there will be only one winner.

Let the best team on the day win and let’s hope for a good game and no dodgy decisions .244D

Reply posted by Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC, today at 00:32Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC

00:32to Dubbus"Considering Denmark lost their first 2 games and are now in the semi’s they have shown great character but if England play like they have all tournament there will be only one winner.Let the best team on the day win and let’s hope for a good game and no dodgy decisions ."Dallas Cowboys Liverpool FC replied: The next five days will determine whether this England team will forever be remembered as ‘Legends’ or as another ‘Al-so rans’92More replies (1)downI

Comment posted by It only a game, today at 00:12It only a game

00:12This game should not be underestimated! Denmark took 4 points off England in the very recent past in the Nations League.162K

Reply posted by KLOPP OUT, today at 00:42KLOPP OUT

00:42to It only a game"This game should not be underestimated! Denmark took 4 points off England in the very recent past in the Nations League."KLOPP OUT replied: To be honest, we weren’t playing our A team in the Nations League, we have little respect for that cup.

I expect tomorrow to resemble David vs Goliath, if David had no arms. 💪🇬🇪27More replies (3)downC

Comment posted by Commentier, today at 00:15Commentier

00:15Anyone else just jump straight to comments and not read whatever nonsense they wrote in the article? Wait is this a HYS section for England or the cricket or Bake Off?174B

Reply posted by bill_allan, today at 02:01bill_allan

02:01to Commentier"Anyone else just jump straight to comments and not read whatever nonsense they wrote in the article? Wait is this a HYS section for England or the cricket or Bake Off?"bill_allan replied: Bake off20D

Comment posted by Dizzee69, at 23:50 6 JulDizzee69

23:50 6 JulWhen you reach the business end of tournaments, games can go either way.

Often, they’re down to a single moment of brilliance, luck, or decision from a referee

Brehme’s deflected goal in the SF at Italia 90; England’s 2-3 disallowed goals since 1998 (Campbell two and Lampard); Rooney’s red; Ronaldinho’s cross/shot in 2002…

I’d give England a 50/50 chance against both Denmark and Italy155W

Reply posted by Wormhole, today at 00:00Wormhole

00:00to Dizzee69"When you reach the business end of tournaments, games can go either way.Often, they’re down to a single moment of brilliance, luck, or decision from a refereeBrehme’s deflected goal in the SF at Italia 90; England’s 2-3 disallowed goals since 1998 (Campbell two and Lampard); Rooney’s red; Ronaldinho’s cross/shot in 2002…I’d give England a 50/50 chance against both Denmark and Italy"Wormhole replied: 🐤
🏀
Let’s hope they don’t get all “SPURSY” and BOTTLE the game!109More replies (2)downE

Comment posted by end racism ALL lives matter BBC, today at 01:16end racism ALL lives matter BBC

01:16The biggest boost for England this tournament is not having that poxy band banging and crashing throughout the match!

Long may the silence continue!90R

Comment posted by Rafa, today at 00:08Rafa

00:08England wont have a better chance since euro 96 to get to the finals.

Have a balanced squad with some really good players amongst them, and some already with experience of a semi and a manager whose seems to be learning from his mistakes and is slighlty more flexible in his decisions.

Like the Germany game it will be a tricky match, England will have to take there chances when they come.134Removed commentMore replies (2)downT

Comment posted by TheCodFan, at 23:55 6 JulTheCodFan

23:55 6 JulWhatever happens, the way Denmark have come back from what happened the first game is one of the all time Euros success stories. Fantastic stuff, although I’ll obviously be hoping England win tomorrow113H

Reply posted by Have a nice day, today at 01:12Have a nice day

01:12to TheCodFan"Whatever happens, the way Denmark have come back from what happened the first game is one of the all time Euros success stories. Fantastic stuff, although I’ll obviously be hoping England win tomorrow"Have a nice day replied: After watching today’s match I don’t think Denmark or England have much to worry about!

Whoever wins should school Italy!02K

Comment posted by Kop End, at 23:55 6 JulKop End

23:55 6 JulKom så Danmark1710L

Comment posted by Laughing Gravy, at 23:48 6 JulLaughing Gravy

23:48 6 JulGood luck England tomorrow evening. Hope they reach the final.1710W

Reply posted by Wormhole, today at 00:11Wormhole

00:11to Laughing Gravy"Good luck England tomorrow evening. Hope they reach the final."Wormhole replied: 🐤
🏀
Let’s just hope they don’t get all “SPURSY” and BOTTLE the game!79More replies (1)downR

Comment posted by rob, today at 00:42rob

00:42Would like to see an Ita v Eng final & hope for a rollercoaster. I think Italy are the best team, and Dnmrk are super, but would be nice to see Eng get their moment in a final to show if they can deliver for the people. My hope is if they dont win then media doesnt turn Sthgte from darling to nearly-man. That wouldnt be fair. & If u do win, dont go on about it for 40yr :-). all the best, a scot.82S

Reply posted by SoBad, today at 02:40SoBad

02:40to rob"Would like to see an Ita v Eng final & hope for a rollercoaster. I think Italy are the best team, and Dnmrk are super, but would be nice to see Eng get their moment in a final to show if they can deliver for the people. My hope is if they dont win then media doesnt turn Sthgte from darling to nearly-man. That wouldnt be fair. & If u do win, dont go on about it for 40yr :-). all the best, a scot."SoBad replied: Like you wont go about drawing with England forever, just like you’re still talking about getting two dodgy free kicks in a qualifier.02D

Comment posted by david beer, today at 00:07david beer

00:07Thanks Danish person in the BBC or home grown strange person , we don’t need to tempt fate about finals or winning tournaments just let’s see what happens,leave it at that71N

Comment posted by nik1976, today at 00:31nik1976

00:31Cmon Denmark, into these clowns.1611S

Reply posted by SherbertDipper, today at 00:53SherbertDipper

00:53to nik1976"Cmon Denmark, into these clowns."SherbertDipper replied: Is that a line from Hans Christian Anderson’s fables?70R

Comment posted by RobinHood, today at 00:56RobinHood

00:56Nobody thinks England have a better footballing history than we do. We’re so excited and in shock because we know we never get to finals since 1966.

All Thanks to the English game still playing kick and rush football 40 years after the Europeans. Possession football, cute passes and dominating midfield is what wins games.51E

Reply posted by Egg sandwich, today at 01:24Egg sandwich

01:24to RobinHood"Nobody thinks England have a better footballing history than we do. We’re so excited and in shock because we know we never get to finals since 1966. All Thanks to the English game still playing kick and rush football 40 years after the Europeans. Possession football, cute passes and dominating midfield is what wins games."Egg sandwich replied: “Possession football”

Not always. Leicester won the league a couple years back without this need. A good counter attack and Vardy will put you right!00More replies (2)downL

Comment posted by lucy1, today at 00:07lucy1

00:07Will be tough but can give the danes a game. Italy another level but have few flaws. This is doable but long way to go. Hoping trippier instead of walker especially if we get as far as italy. Italy will take advantage of dodgy backpasses73D

Comment posted by Doug, today at 02:52Doug

02:52I have several caveats:

I hate football.
I’m Scottish.

I wish the best to England, but I really don’t want to hear any more about 1966, nor do I want to spend the rest of my life hearing about 2021.

There are far more important things than football.30T

Comment posted by Tillicoultry par, today at 02:37Tillicoultry par

02:37c’mon Denmark30More commentsBack to topunknown
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