England are hoping to reach their first major tournament final since 1966 as they take on Denmark tonight.
Gareth Southgate’s men will walk out at Wembley knowing a win will set up a first-ever Euros cup final tie with Italy next weekend.
National optimism and pride is at an all-time high following England’s performance in the knockout stages – which saw the Three Lions defeat old foes Germany in the round of 16 before walloping Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals.
These pulsating victories followed 1-0 wins over Croatia and Czech Republic in the group stage, where England also drew 0-0 with Scotland.
Southgate’s men are yet to concede a goal all tournament.
Nonetheless, their opponents for the evening are sure to provide a stiff test.
Denmark have defied all expectations by making it to the semi-finals – with many predicting the squad to crumble in the wake of the horrific incident during their opening Euros group game.
The Danes’ talisman Christian Eriksen collapsed suddenly and unexpectedly after suffering cardiac arrest in the game with Finland. The midfielder was given emergency medical assistance and has since recovered in hospital – much to the relief and delight of the footballing world.
Denmark went on to lose their first two matches of Euro 2020 – 1-0 to Finland and 2-0 to Belgium. But since then the side have shown tremendous resolve to turn into the surprise package of the tournament – proceeding to wallop Russia 4-1 in their final group game before battering Wales 4-0 in the last 16.
They defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in the quarter-final on Saturday – and are now hoping to write an even greater fairytale than the one that saw them lift the continental trophy at Euro ’92.
And it sounds like they’re confident they can do it.
When Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel was asked about what Denmark would be doing to prevent ‘football coming home’, the Leicester goalkeeper responded with a cheeky dig.
“Has it ever been home? I don’t know, have you ever won it?”
Support for this gutsy Kasper Hjulmand Denmark side has grown louder with every passing day – but cheers for the Red & Whites will be largely drowned out by a raucous England following this evening.
60,000 fans are allowed into Wembley – but travel restrictions will prevent many Danes from attending. 6,000 tickets have been made available to Danes living in the UK – with the Danish FA sending 1,000 jerseys to London.
The winner of England v Denmark will meet Italy in the final – who edged out Spain on penalties last night (July 6) following a 1-1 draw after extra-time.
The hype has been building all week. But Southgate says he is keeping his feet on the ground.
“Our preparations have been calm and we know we are playing a very good opponent,” the England manager stated.
“It’s going to be a really tight game and an exciting game for everybody.”