Follow live coverage as England and Denmark prepare to face off in the semi-finals of Euro 2020 tonight.
Yesterday evening, Italy edged Spain on penalties to book their spot in Sunday’s final. Last night’s epic took place at Wembley Stadium, which will also host this evening’s clash and the showpiece match on Sunday, presenting England with their best opportunity of a trophy in decades. But – like Italy – Denmark are dangerous foes.
Since star midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed in the Danes’ tournament-opening defeat by Finland, Kasper Hjulmand’s organised side have managed to channel their emotions into an inspiring run. After a narrow defeat by the world’s No 1-ranked side Belgium in their second game, Denmark thrashed Russia, before doing the same against Wales in the last 16. Next up were a tough Czech Republic outfit, whom Denmark edged to set up this semi-final meeting with England.
Gareth Southgate’s team are unbeaten at Euro 2020 and the only side yet to concede a goal at the tournament in what has been a historic run. An underwhelming draw with Scotland in the group stage has been the only ‘slip-up’ of any note, with tight but professional wins against Croatia and the Czechs coming either side of that clash, before Southgate’s players smashed through another historical barrier by beating Germany 2-0 in the last 16. In the quarter-finals, the Three Lions thumped Ukraine in Rome – England’s only Euro 2020 fixture not to be staged at Wembley – and now Denmark await.
We will bring you all the latest from inside the England camp as well as all the build-up from Wembley throughout the day:
England vs Denmark latest: ‘Being host is an advantage’ – Southgate
Gareth Southgate has admitted that England being a host nation has been an advantage for him and his team.
Wembley was picked as one of the locations to accommodate the tournament, alongside Denmark, Spain Italy and others.
Despite his side only facing one game away from home turf, in Rome against Ukraine, Southgate admits that the other host nations have benefitted too.
“Well, I suppose, whoever hosts has an advantage, don’t they, so effectively we’ve ended up being one of the hosts,” Southgate argued.
“There have been a number of hosts in this tournament, and Italy, Denmark, Spain have all benefited from that as well.
“It should be an advantage. We often in our preparations were talking through as a group of staff talking about how it could be a hindrance, but quite often we came around to saying, hang on a second, this should be an advantage, we’ve got to make this an advantage for us, things like the travel.
“It has been different in that respect, but I’m not sure, as soon as the format of the tournament was created, everyone has kind of known that, it was going to be different, what we had to do was make sure we won our group so we had that extra game at Wembley that came available, so we’ve done the bits we’ve needed to, to give ourselves the best possible chance.”
England vs Denmark latest: Predictions
It will be a very close game I think. Both sides are effective in their own unique ways.
Denmark’s midfield will play a big part in the game. Pierre Hoibjerg will have a crucial role in helping his team’s defence against England’s attacking talent.
However, they do possess attacking quality and Damsgaard is a player that Southgate and England should be watching.
England though do have a lot of things going for them. They haven’t conceded a goal and are getting better as the tournament progresses. They shouldn’t fear this moment. Play like they have been playing and I think they’ll do it.
I’m going with a 1-0 England.
What’s your prediction?
England vs Denmark latest: Denmark team news
Denmark kept the same side that thrashed Wales for the quarter-final win over the Czechs and could opt for continuity again with no new knocks.
Captain Simon Kjaer shook off an injury to start that one in Baku and will start again with Yussuf Poulsen, fit enough only for the bench last time out, the likeliest possible change although Kasper Dolberg scored in his absence and could keep his place.
Premier League fans will be familiar with Kasper Schmeichel in goal, Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen in defence and midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham.
Atalanta wide man Joakim Maehle has been outstanding throughout the tournament while Mikkel Damsgaard of Sampdoria, thrust into the starting line-up in Eriksen’s absence, has also been hugely impressive.
England vs Denmark latest: ‘We want to take advantage of the pressure England are facing’ – Kasper Hjulmand
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand wants to take advantage of the pressure and expectation England are facing heading into a EURO 2020 semi-final that Denmark will play for Christian Eriksen and their unified, passionate nation.
There will be around 8,000 Danish fans among the expected 66,000 crowd, but Hjulmand believes that could be to their advantage.
“We’re excited, we’re looking forward to playing once again,” the Denmark head coach said.
“And we know we’re not done yet. We know that we can do more.
“Of course there is a lot of pressure on England but we also know that we have to take advantage of this situation.
“There is some psychological factors in the game. They have a lot of supporters but we also have to remember that they have a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations, so I don’t think it’s going to be so easy for them.
“We just believe that we can take advantage of the pressure England feel.”
England vs Denmark latest: England primed to ride wave of emotion against Denmark and point to a new way under Gareth Southgate
This is England’s biggest game since EURO 1996, in terms of the European Championships.
The match against Denmark could surpass anything seen in England for the past 55 years. It is something that shouldn’t be overlooked, even as everyone inevitably looks to Sunday.
Semi-finals have proved to be an obstacle in modern-day history for English football, but no one more than Gareth Southgate will want to change that. He was on the wrong end of abuse after his infamous penalty miss knocked England out of ‘that game’ against Germany.
But something feels different today. There is an added bit of confidence going into the game. Southgate’s men have become better and better as the tournament has progressed.
More from Miguel Delaney here:
England vs Denmark latest: A message from the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
Both the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have taken to social media to wish Gareth Southgate and his England team the best of luck in tonight’s game against Denmark.
The couple shared a video of a marching band drumming and blowing to ‘It’s Coming Home.’
Everyone really is getting in the spirit!
England vs Denmark latest: ‘We must deliver’ – Harry Kane on England
Captain Harry Kane admits talk is cheap and England must prove they can deliver at Euro 2020.
England host Denmark in Wednesday’s semi-final with 60,000 fans due at Wembley and the expectation of a nation on their shoulders.
They have never reached the final of a European Championship and Kane knows actions speak louder than words.
“It’s a chance to go out there and prove it, we can talk as much as we want but the bottom line is we have to go out there and perform,” said the striker.
“We can go and be free, enjoy it, but have a real focus on trying to get through to the final.
“Whenever you are an England player stepping out into a major tournament every game is a high-pressure situation.
“I spoke after the Germany game about the pressure that was on us as a team to perform. We came through that well and, the further you go, we were expected to win the Ukraine game.
“But you still have to go out there and perform under that pressure. It’s part and parcel of major tournament football.
“A lot of us have been dealing with it at club level, Champions League finals, cup finals, so the squad is more experienced than what it was in 2018.
“It’s about performing on the matchdays, there’s a lot of talk going into this semi-final and it’s a chance for us to go one step further than we did in Russia in 2018.”
England vs Denmark latest: Who’s the referee for tonight’s match?
Danny Makkelie will take charge of England vs Denmark in the semi-finals of Euro 2020.
The referee famously officiated last season’s Champions League semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Born in the Netherlands, the 38-year-old is comfortable on the big stage too, having taken charge of Champions League matches since 2014 and Europa League matches two years before that.
However, the Dutch referee has yet to award a penalty across the three tournament fixtures he’s monitored so far.
England vs Denmark latest: ‘History of Wembley important for tonight’ – Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate believes England playing at Wembley could have a massive impact on the player’s performance levels.
During England’s 2-0 victory against Germany, the stadium was booming with noise, sounding like a full capacity instead of the 45,000 it was capped at.
With 60,000 supporters now able to attend this fixture and the final, Southgate believes this could play a crucial part in influencing the match.
“The history of the stadium relies on those iconic moments,” Southgate said.
“There’s the World Cup final, big boxing events, but there have been perhaps less of those headline events at the new Wembley. Whereas this tournament of course is now one of those moments.
“We’ve had the chance to have some very high-profile games already and achieve some big moments.
“There’s some sort of pictures on the wall as you drive into the dressing rooms of iconic England moments but some of them aren’t even from finals competitions.
“[David] Beckham’s free-kick against Greece is there and that was a qualifier so I think our players have got over the last two tournaments they’ve been able to create some really special memories, for especially youngsters. Bless them, they think it’s like this all the time with England! They’ve not had to live through what we’ve all lived through.
“I’ve not heard the new Wembley have an atmosphere like it did for the Germany game, the Croatia Nations League game was a very good one in terms of the atmosphere Germany was another level and I’m sure tomorrow is going to be very special.”
England vs Denmark latest: Who should start tonight?
Who would you like to see start for England tonight?
Personally, I’d go with a back three, knowing Denmark may line-up in a similar formation. But, I’m not the manager and Southgate knows what he’s doing. It worked wonders against Germany though. Who’s to say it can’t work again?
Back three? Back four? Saka or Sancho? Some tough decisions to make by Southgate.