England come home to a game against Denmark on Wednesday at 8pm (UK time), with a place in the Euro 2020 final against Italy up for grabs.
Gareth Southgate has galvanised a nation by coaching the Three Lions to consecutive semi-final appearances at major international tournaments, reaching the penultimate round having not yet conceded a single goal. The recent 4-0 win over Ukraine has put some serious gloss on an impressive summer so far.
England vs Denmark odds with William Hill
- England to win in 90 minutes: 8/11
- Draw in 90 minutes: 12/5
- Denmark to win in 90 minutes: 9/2
Nearly 30 years on from the 1992 European Championship success of “Danish Dynamite”, Denmark are just a few steps away from replicating that unforgettable night in Gothenburg. Kasper Hjulmand has been the master tactician this summer and remains unbeaten in his two games against England, recently winning 1-0 in October’s Nations League.
Will Southgate exorcise the ghosts of 2018 and make it through a semi-final this time around? Or can Hjulmand find another winning formula against the Three Lions?
England vs Denmark starting XIs
England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane.
Denmark: Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Vestergaard; Stryger Larsen, Delaney, Hojbjerg, Maehle; Braithwaite, Damsgaard; Dolberg.
Raheem Sterling is en route to legendary status with England
There were a few cries for Raheem Sterling to be omitted from England’s squad for the Euros having endured an underwhelming season (by his impeccable standards) with Manchester City. However, Southgate showed faith in the forward, and his decision has been more than vindicated.
Of course, those who watch England avidly will know that Sterling has seldom underperformed for the nation, particularly in recent years. The 26-year-old is currently on a tear of 15 goals in his last 18 caps. Southgate certainly knew what he was doing all along.
Sterling has unequivocally been England’s best player this summer, the attacking fulcrum and insatiable goal-getter, turning up in each fixture and proving the difference-maker, a sentiment echoed by former Three Lion Rio Ferdinand, who praised his “mentality” to continuously “answer his critics.”
“He’s undoubtedly been our best player at this tournament, our most effective player,” Ferdinand told the BBC studio during England’s game against Ukraine.
UEFA Player Of The Tournament odds with William Hill
- Raheem Sterling: 7/2
- Simon Kjaer: 7/1
- Harry Kane: 8/1
- Jorginho: 8/1
- Federico Chiesa: 10/1
- Lorenzo Insigne: 10/1
“There’s a steeliness about him… he’s always answered the criticism in his career.
“He’s very single-minded, he’s focused, he thinks about, not just the pitch, but there’s other things that come into play – the mentality, the understanding of what he needs to do off the pitch in terms of preparation and recovery, the detail he goes into to make sure he plays and performs at this level continuously.
“He’s had tough times, but now he’s coming through it and he looks like a man. He’s just a world-class player.”
With 66 caps at just 26, Sterling is on the right trajectory to smash all kinds of records for England. But there can be no question that if he can lead the nation to Euro 2020 glory this summer, he will reach legendary status sooner than expected and earn a rightful spot in the Three Lions pantheon. There’s a reason he’s the bookmakers’ favourite for the Player of the Tournament award.
England vs Denmark scoreline prediction
England 2-1 Denmark (AET): England have not been breached this summer, but Denmark have been firing on all cylinders and have already proven (in autumn’s Nations League) that they know how to find chinks in Southgate’s defensive armour. This will be a close contest, make no mistake about that, and could even be decided in extra-time, a scenario England fans will want to avoid, but one that may prove inevitable as the minutes tick on.