Players to watch out for as England, Denmark clash

England have eased into their first European Championship semi-final in 25 years at Euro 2020 and will face Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday for a place in the final.

England have never reached the European Championship final and last won a major trophy at the 1966 World Cup.

Their impressive surge to a second successive major tournament semi-final following the 2018 World Cup run has sparked talk of a sustained period of dominance from the Three Lions.

England are heavy favourites to beat Denmark in front of 60,000 fired-up fans at Wembley, which produced a raucous atmosphere for the last 16 win against Germany.

Denmark believe Southgate’s side may find the pressure hard to cope with, but Kane is confident they will rise to the occasion.

England lost 1-0 to Denmark at Wembley in the Nations League in October after Harry Maguire’s dismissal.

That followed a 0-0 draw in Copenhagen in September but Tottenham striker Kane claimed those games will have no bearing with a place in Sunday’s final at stake.

Here are Denmark and England players and game-changers who could make an impact in the game:

Jack Grealish- The Aston Villa forward has impressed during the tournament despite seeing limited game time. The 25-year-old, who has been linked with a move to Manchester City, set up Raheem Sterling’s winner on his only start in the final group game against the Czech Republic.

“This is what I was born to do. I can’t wait,” he said before the last-16 match against Germany, when he came off the bench to claim another assist, this time for Harry Kane.

He did not feature in the quarter-final thrashing of Ukraine at the Stadio Olimpico, so will be fresh if called upon by Southgate this week.

Phil Foden-

The 21-year-old enjoyed a stellar season for Manchester City, scoring 16 goals in all competitions as Pep Guardiola’s men won the Premier League and reached the Champions League final.

Foden was widely tipped to be one of the stars of Euro 2020, but after starting England’s opening two matches, has not played since.

Jadon Sancho-

When England were struggling to create chances during the group stage, Southgate was criticised by pundits and supporters for not giving a chance to Sancho, who made only one late substitute appearance across the first four games.

But he started in Rome on Saturday and caught the eye with his dribbling skills and direct style of play.

The 21-year-old, who is set to leave Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United for 85 million euros ($100 million) after the tournament, could be in line to start again in the semi-final.

Bukayo Saka-

The Arsenal teenager was a slightly surprising selection in the 26-man squad ahead of Jesse Lingard, but has more than played his part in England’s run.

Saka shone against the Czech Republic and then kept his place in the starting line-up for the Germany match, only to miss out on the quarter-final with an injury.

Southgate has the luxury of choosing between Foden, Sancho and Saka for a spot on the right wing against Denmark, with Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount all likely to start.

Marcus Rashford-

The most experienced player on this list is the only one yet to make a start at Euro 2020, although the winger is carrying foot and shoulder injuries and is expected to undergo surgery following the tournament.

Rashford, who has scored 12 goals in 45 international appearances, could still have a significant part to play in England’s bid to win a first European title, despite playing 57 times for Manchester United in a gruelling season.

Thomas Delaney

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder was outstanding in his side’s gusty 2-1 quarter-final win over the Czech Republic, dominating his opponents in the air, tackling relentlessly, and scoring the opening goal of the game to put his side in the driving seat.

A real midfield general, Delaney will be looking to set the agenda, and it will be up to Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips to press him relentlessly wherever possible.

Joakim Maehle

At every major summer tournament, there’s always player or two who subsequently secure big transfer moves to reward their efforts, and Denmark’s flying wing-back is a fine candidate to do just that this time around.

His stunning assist against the Czechs will give England plenty of cause for concern, and Kyle Walker, who’s had a few defensive lapses in the tournament so far, will need to wary of the threat Maehle’s pinpoint crosses possess.

If England stick with a back four, he’ll be a real danger on the overlap, that’s for sure.

Kasper Dolberg

England’s defence have not conceded a single goal in the tournament so far, but could Dolberg be the man to tarnish England’s clean sheets? Quite possibly.

The 23-year-old was tipped as the ‘next big thing’ after impressing at Ajax in his teens, but is still looking to really make a real breakthrough at club level, and scored just six times for Ligue 1 side OGC Nice last season.

However, he’s looked a new man in a Denmark shirt at Euro 2020, scoring twice against Wales and once against the Czechs after bringing out the magic in the knock-out stages.

Mikel Damsgaard

Sampdoria’s attacking midfielder has been highly consistent for Denmark throughout the tournament, and, like Dolberg, looks to be saving his very best form for the knock-outs.

His positional awareness and ability to find space is troubling – from an England perspective, that is – to say the least, and you can just see him coming out of nowhere to grab a goal on Wednesday.

A dynamic dribbler bursting with flair, the 21-year-old is one of his side’s most deadly weapons going forward.

Andreas Christensen

Fresh off the back of winning the Champions League with Chelsea, Christensen, a player transformed under Thomas Tuchel, is in the form of his life.

He’s part of a rock-solid back three, and has the composure and ball-playing nous to frustrate England’s attackers.

On top of that, he scored one of the goals of the tournament in his side’s blockbuster 4-1 win over Russia that saw them escape Group B. 

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