Euros LIVE! England vs Denmark semi-final build-up; Italy beat Spain

England are tonight bidding to reach their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup when they battle Denmark at Wembley Stadium, with Italy lying in wait.

Having dispatched old rivals Germany in the first knockout game, the Three Lions upped the ante with a 4-0 demolition of Ukraine in the quarter-finals with captain Harry Kane’s brace and goals from Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson’s first senior England goal making it a comfortable evening in Rome.

Denmark will hope to spoil England’s hopes of reaching Sunday’s the Wembley final, in an intriguing clash between two entertaining sides.

On Tuesday, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Jorginho were the heroes as Italy booked their place in the final with a 4-2 penalty shootout win over Spain at Wembley.

The Azzurri have been among the frontrunners since they opened the tournament on June 11 and they will be there when it finishes, hoping to win a second European Championship and first since 1968.

Follow all the latest Euro 2020 news, updates and semi-final build-up in our daily live blog below!

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England team news

England are ready to throw Bukayo Saka back into the starting lineup as Gareth Southgate plots victory over Denmark for a place in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

Saka was a star performer for the historic victory over Germany in the last-16 stage, only to pick up an injury in training to rule him out of the 4-0 thumping of Ukraine in the quarter-finals.

Jadon Sancho impresses in Saka’s place in Rome, but the versatile Arsenal youngster will be drafted back in to help combat Denmark’s wing-backs.

England, though, will stick with a back four having reverted back from the three-man defence for the win over Ukraine.

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Predicted XIs

England (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Phillips, Rice; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane

Denmark (3-4-2-1): Schmeichel; Christensen, Kjaer, Vestergaard; Stryger Larsen, Hojbjerg, Delaney, Maehle; Damsgaard, Braithwaite; Dolberg


Noble backing ‘little brother’ Rice

Mark Noble is hoping his “little brother” Declan Rice will return to West Ham with a Euro 2020 medal hanging from his neck.

Speaking to the club website, Noble said: “We all hope the next time that we see Declan he’s got a medal around his neck because that will be very special for us, the club and also himself.

“It has been an absolute joy watching him play at the Euros and emotional for myself at times because I still see him as a young kid coming into the team. I’ve got such a close relationship with him and his family. It goes beyond football, I see him as a little brother.

“We just hope he can keep on playing the way he does and keep on winning games and hopefully in a week’s time that he lifts that trophy, that would be very special.”


‘Football can be hard’

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Alvaro Morata has broken his silence after missing the decisive penalty for Spain last night against Italy.

The Juventus striker scored in normal time to level the tie at 1-1, but he then missed his spot-kick as Spain lost their semi-final.

“This group deserved more, much more, like all of Spain,” Morata wrote on Instagram.

“It was your dream and our dream, I can only say that I am proud to have been part of this group. Thanks to all those who believed in us. Football can be hard sometimes, come on Spain.”


‘We’ll silence the supporters’

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Coach Kasper Hjulmand says Denmark are looking forward to an “away game” at Wembley tonight.

Denmark fans are unable to travel for tonight’s semi-final at Wembley, with only 5,000 of their supporters who live in England expected to attend.

The rest of the 60,000 crowd at Wembley will be England fans, but Hjulmand is not worried. The Denmark coach said: “It’ll be like playing an away game, but that also has its own charm, so we’re actually looking forward to it.

“We’re happy that people will be there and that the fans are back in the stadium, though obviously we would have loved it if half the stadium was dressed in Danish colours.

“Our motivation is to silence the spectators, but we know it’s going to be difficult.”


Where will semi-final be won and lost?

Chief football reporter Dan Kilpatrick runs the rule over tonight’s game with three key battles.

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Has football ever ‘been home’?

Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has taken a swipe at England and the idea of football “coming home”.

The anthem “football’s coming home” can be heard and seen across the nation ahead of tonight’s Euros semi-final as fans dream of finally adding to the World Cup success of 1966.

But Leicester’s Schmeichel is not concerning himself with that clamour for success and instead aimed a cheeky dig at England.

“Has it ever been home?” he said. “I don’t know, have you ever won it? I haven’t given any thought to what it would mean to stop England more than what it would do for Denmark.

“I’ve focused very little on the England team. It doesn’t mean anything to me.


Southgate: Give ‘new’ Wembley its icons

Gareth Southgate wants England to finally claim ‘new’ Wembley as their own tonight.

The Three Lions can secure a place in their first European Championship Final with victory against Denmark, and the players have been told this is their chance to indelibly stamp their name on the national stadium.

England’s finest moments like the World Cup triumph in 1966 and Paul Gascoigne’s wonder goal against Scotland at Euro 96 were all at the original Wembley. There have been precious few memorable moments since the rebuilt stadium was opened in 2007, with victory against Germany in the round-of-16 at these finals sure to go down as England’s greatest performance under the arch so far.

That would be topped by winning tonight’s semi-final and the chance to come back to Wembley on Sunday to face Italy for the trophy.

Manager Southgate said: “Wembley has a fantastic history, of course, but those of us old enough to remember the old stadium, a lot of those memories would be from the old stadium.

“The history of the stadium relies on those iconic moments and if we look historically that’s been in the past, World Cup Final, Olympics, big boxing events and there have been perhaps less of those headline events at the new Wembley.”

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Danish dynamite

England will face “Danish dynamite” at Wembley tonight, Denmark’s ambassador to London has declared as millions of fans prepared to watch the Euro 2020 semi-final.

Lars Thuesen claimed his country’s team are not the “underdogs” and backed them to win on penalties if the game goes to the wire.

He hailed Denmark as an “amazing team”, branding them as “one of the best teams in Danish football history”.

Asked about Danish football chants, he told LBC Radio: “We have a lot of songs and we have prepared all of them, we know them by heart because our flag is red and white.

“So we are red and white, we are Danish dynamite.”


England have been ‘absolutely perfect’, says Hodgson

Former England manager Roy Hodgson believes Gareth Southgate’s side have been “absolutely perfect” during the tournament.

Hodgson, 73, who spent four years in charge of the national team until 2016, said he expected England to beat Denmark in Wednesday night’s semi-final at Wembley.

“I’m very confident indeed because I think the England team is playing so exceptionally well from the start of the tournament really,” he told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“In fact, they have been faultless. I can’t think of anything to criticise, although I’m sure there are people who do find something.

“But they must be hard pushed to find something. It’s been absolutely perfect.”

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