England-Denmark Euro 2020 semi-final: Bukayo Saka set to start for England

Dated: Wednesday July 7. Start: 8:00 p.m. BST. Location: Wembley Stadium. Blanket: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Highlights on BBC One at 11:20 pm BST; Full replay on BBC One 12:55 am Thursday; Text commentary, report and highlights on the BBC Sport website.

Bukayo Saka is set to start the Euro 2020 semi-final on Wednesday with Denmark in place of Jadon Sancho.

19-year-old Arsenal forward Saka was remarkable in the last 16 victory over Germany on June 29.

It should be the only change in Gareth Southgate’s starting lineup at Wembley as England seek to reach a first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup final.

Saka missed Saturday’s 4-0 quarter-final victory over Ukraine with injury.

Sancho made his first start in the tournament in the last eight games in Rome.

“England can write history”

Southgate challenged its English players to make history by beating Denmark in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley to reach the European Championship final for the first time.

“We don’t have as good a football history as we sometimes like to think,” Southgate said. “These players are making tremendous progress.”

England have never made it past the semi-finals of a European Championship.

However, there is growing excitement – and hope has turned to expectation – that the Southgate team can finally triumph.

England, who also ended a 55-year wait for a knockout victory over Germany with their round of 16 success, are the top-ranked team remaining in the tournament in fourth place in the world. .

“We have broken down the barriers in this tournament and we have another opportunity to do so,” added Southgate.

“We’ve never been to a European Championship final so we can be the first England team to do what is really exciting.”

Southgate said that knowing the country is behind the team is a “great feeling for us”.

Cars and the houses are decorated with English flags while the pubs were allowed to stay open an additional 45 minutes until 11:15 p.m. BST on Sunday, in case the final at Wembley – which starts at 8:00 p.m. – results in extra time and penalties.

“We are ready for the game, the players are ready, they have a great experience themselves having been in this situation before,” added Southgate, who led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals. .

“Our preparations have been calm and we know we are up against a very good opponent. It will be a very close game and an exciting game for everyone.”

Southgate is confident their players can handle the pressure against Denmark, who won the European Championship in 1992.

“We had expectations throughout the tournament and I think we handled that very well in the opener, for example, and the game against Germany,” he said.

“But we’ve never been in a final so the pressure is what you really choose. It’s a motivating thing, a challenge for us.

“If we were a country that had won five titles and had to match what happened before, I might feel different. But that’s not the case. Denmark won it, so can – be that there is more pressure on them to reproduce this. “

English fans rocked their squad throughout the tournament with chants of “Football’s Coming Home”, the anthem that first became popular when the Three Lions reached the bottom four of Euro 96.

Asked what it would mean to ruin England’s dreams of home glory, Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel replied: “Has it ever been at home? I don’t know.

But England captain Harry Kane said the team are in a good position to address it.

“He’s right that he hasn’t come home in this competition for us, but we’re in a great position because we’re two games away,” Kane added.

“It’s important that we focus on Wednesday night and on ourselves and what we can do. We know that if we can do it right, that should be enough to get us across the line.”

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