England vs Denmark: Three Lions are coming home and Sterling can star again

Manchester City man to continue sublime form in his 'back yard' when England face Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final.

When: Wednesday, July 7, 8pm BST

Where: Wembley

How to watch: ITV

Best bets

England to win and both teams to score at 7/2

Raheem Sterling to score and assist a goal at 12/1

Red card in match at 7/2

It's probably not too much of a stretch to say it will be Euro 2020's two favourite teams fighting it out for a spot in the final when England play Denmark.

After the scenes in their opening match involving Christian Eriksen, it is very easy to root for Denmark. Their players were heroic and dignified in a dreadful situation.

England, meanwhile, have a young, exciting, vibrant team with a hugely likeable manager fighting the demons of European Championships past. That makes their campaign one of the more storied ones, and everyone loves a good story.

England are the overwhelming favourites and when you look at the talent they have available it's easy to see why. Add in home advantage and it looks like a daunting task for the Danes.

However, Denmark are ranked higher than Germany, who England defeated in the round of 16, making them the highest ranked team the Three Lions have faced in the tournament.

Euro 2020 form

England

England 1-0 Croatia

England 0-0 Scotland

Czech Republic 0-1 England

England 2-0 Germany

Ukraine 0-4 England

There is no doubt that England have the look of a team who are seriously growing into the competition.

Since struggling against Scotland they have got better and better with every match, and they now have Harry Kane in top form just when it matters most.

They are also yet to concede a goal, so all in all you'd have to say they are looking pretty formidable at this point.

Denmark

Denmark 0-1 Finland

Denmark 1-2 Belgium

Russia 1-4 Denmark

Wales 0-4 Denmark

Czech Republic 1-2 Denmark

Denmark have every reason to feel confident themselves. They have scored more goals than England and caught the imagination just as much.

The question is more about how much they have left in the tank emotionally, especially in front of a partisan Wembley crowd.

No one will be underestimating the Danes, though. They have proven their quality and their mental fortitude, and they won't be dismissed easily.

England appear to hold every advantage

Work through the list and tick them off: Home advantage… best striker left in the tournament… strongest squad… no injury concerns… no suspensions… best-performing defence…

You'd have to say that England appear to hold all the aces.

In many ways, though, that is dangerous, particularly when you have a talent for self-implosion, as many England teams of the past have had.

If you're an England fan, the biggest surprise against Ukraine was the total absence of nasty surprises. England were the better team, the fresher team. They should have dominated and won and that's exactly what they did. It was the most un-England quarter-final imaginable.

While the scars of the past remain, there is definitely a different feel to this England squad. You trust them to get the job done.

And yet…

England squad

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Jordan Pickford, Aaron Ramsdale

Defenders: Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, John Stones, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, Ben White

Midfielders: Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice

Forwards: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling

Denmark's history repeating?

This Denmark team were not supposed to be doing this. Then again, they weren't supposed to be doing it in 1992, either.

In fact, they didn't even qualify to play in Euro '92. The political situation in Yugoslavia allowed them to join the tournament at the 11th hour and they surprised everyone by winning and winning until they had beaten everyone. They even had a Schmeichel in goal.

One thing you'd have to say about Denmark is they have not faced any top-quality opposition since Belgium in the group stage.

They are here on the back of wins against 38th-ranked Russia, 17th-ranked Wales, and 40th-ranked Czech Republic.

It means they are relatively untested, but that doesn't mean they aren't up to the task.

Denmark squad

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel, Jonas Lossl, Frederik Ronnow

Defenders: Simon Kjaer, Andreas Christensen, Jannik Vestergaard, Joachim Andersen, Mathias Jorgensen, Daniel Wass, Jens Stryger Larsen, Joakim Maehle, Nicolai Boilesen

Midfielders: Thomas Delaney, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Mathias Jensen, Christian Norgaard, Anders Christiansen

Forwards: Kasper Dolberg, Jonas Wind, Andreas Cornelius, Martin Braithwaite, Robert Skov, Mikkel Damsgaard, Yussuf Poulsen, Andreas Skov Olsen

International head-to-head

England wins: 12

Draws: 5

Denmark wins: 4

Classic clash

Denmark 0-3 England (World Cup 2002)

The last time England faced Denmark in a major tournament it did not go all that well for the Danes.

They met in the second round of the 2002 World Cup in Niigata, Japan, and in truth they were never really at the races.

Thomas Sorensen put into his own net early on, then Michael Owen and Emile Heskey made sure the contest was over before the half-time whistle.

Euros encounter

Denmark 0-0 England (Euro '92)

We all remember the fine England team of Italia '90, yes? Well, this England team was not that.

There was no Paul Gascoigne, no Peter Shilton, no Terry Butcher, no Chris Waddle, no Bobby Robson.

In their places were the likes of Chris Woods, Keith Curle and Carlton Palmer, with Graham Taylor in the dugout.

It was still a surprise when Denmark held England to a draw in their opening match, though, and in fairness England did have the better of the chances.

A classic, though, it certainly was not.

Most recent match-up

England 0-1 Denmark (Nations League, 2020)

While England look like the favourites for the Euro 2020 semi-final, let's not forget that Denmark have a very recent win over them at Wembley.

Kasper Hjulmand and his troops came out on top just last October thanks to a Christian Eriksen penalty in the group stage of the Nations League.

Things were very different, though. Wembley was empty and Harry Maguire was sent off before half-time. Even then, Denmark needed a penalty and a remarkable save from Kasper Schmeichel to secure the win.

Goalscorer bets

Raheem Sterling created the first goal for England against Ukraine but he then took a hard-earned back seat for the rest of the match.

The Manchester City star has been England's key player in the tournament so far.

However, with England back in his back yard of Wembley, expect Raheem Sterling to hit the goal train again, and you can get odds of around 19/4 for him to open the scoring against the Danes.

England improved massively from set-pieces against Ukraine too, so John Stones to score a header at around 12/1 looks a very nice punt.

Martin Braithwaite was a bit of a flop when he played his club soccer in England, and it's amazing how many times players haunt countries in which they have struggled in their club career.

He can be backed at around 4/1 to score anytime, while Mikkel Damsgaard is another good anytime option at around 9/2.