|Dated: Wednesday July 7. Start: 8:00 p.m. BST. Location: Wembley Stadium. Blanket: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live. Live text commentary, reportage and highlights on the BBC Sport website.|
England players are having fun, winning over the fans and enjoying a European Championship which could benefit the Three Lions “for a generation to come,” manager Gareth Southgate said.
The victory would see them reach the final of a major tournament for the first time since the 1966 World Cup.
“We will make the most of their talent if we can maintain this relationship with the fans,” Southgate said.
A 4-0 quarter-final victory over Ukraine in Rome on Saturday saw Southgate’s side advance to the final four.
They are now returning to Wembley, the site of their last European Men’s Championship semi-final appearance 25 years ago.
While Euro 1996 ended in a loss to Germany on penalties, with Southgate missing the decisive free kick, this is a tournament remembered for being “a magical experience for their players and their fans”.
It took 22 years for the England men’s team to reach the last four of a major international tournament again after the summer of 1996, with Southgate guiding the Three Lions to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals.
“We have reproduced what we did there, but it will not be enough to meet the [players]. It’s a positive sign, ”Southgate said.
“The other thing that is so positive, these young players – 18, 19, 20, 21 – have more England experiences that are positive and enjoyable and they feel what it can be like to be in a shirt English and having fun and winning matches and having a positive relationship with the fans.
“It’s so important for a generation to come.”
Denmark “surfs a wave of emotion”
Southgate says England, a nation looking to reach a first final in 55 years, have already faced a number of “hoodoos” during the tournament.
He says his side are now facing a Denmark side “riding a wave of emotion” after starting the tournament in a traumatic fashion with midfielder Christian Eriksen suffering cardiac arrest on the pitch.
Denmark lost that opener to Finland and were beaten by Belgium days later, but the victory over Russia saw them advance to the knockout stage where they beat Wales and the Czech Republic.
“We talk about perspective in sport, but we rarely have it. It was a moment that brought it home for all of us,” Southgate said.
“I can also imagine what it has done for the Danish team, their bond.
“We’re talking about the things we went through, but what they went through that day – the way their captain [Simon Kjaer] was and the way the group was – and how it would relate to their supporters, it’s pretty powerful.
“They’re riding a wave of emotion for sure and it’s a powerful force that’s coming to Wembley. These things definitely impact the way you think.”