Denmark became everyone’s second team for the amazing way they came together after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their opener against Finland.
But Gareth Southgate will know that in addition to the emotional pull, they will also pose a football threat in Wednesday’s Wembley semi-final.
Not only have the Danes scored 10 goals in their last three games, but they also have many experienced players in top European leagues – and were European Champions, in 1992, which England cannot match.
England and Denmark will face off in Euro 2020 semi-finals after winning their matches
HOW WILL THE DANES BE LINED?
They favor all three defenders with captain Simon Kjaer flanked by Premier League center-backs Andreas Christensen from Chelsea and Jannik Vestergaard from Southampton.
In a 3-4-3, they have a pair of combative midfielders from Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and aren’t afraid to play the ball for a long time to cross Kasper Dolberg, who has skillful runners on either side of him in Martin Braithwaite and Mikkel Damsgaard.
If manager Kasper Hjulmand wants even more rhythm in attack, Yussuf Poulsen is an alternative to Dolberg. Atalanta winger Joakim Maehle likes to move forward and produced a brilliant assist against the Czechs.
Denmark have combative players in the middle of the park like Thomas Delaney (right)
LINKS WITH ENGLAND
Hojbjerg plays alongside Harry Kane for Tottenham and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has just helped Leicester City win the FA Cup.
Christensen won the Champions League with Chelsea. Braithwaite has already spent two years at Middlesbrough.
Vestergaard (Southampton) and Joachim Andersen (on loan at Fulham from Lyon) played in the Premier League last season and Jonas Lossl and Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen have already done so with Huddersfield.
Andreas Cornelius was in Cardiff and Christian Norgaard and Matthias Jensen play for Brentford.
The last meeting between the two countries ended in a 1-0 victory for Denmark in October when Eriksen scored the winning penalty and Harry Maguire was sent off.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (right) plays his club football for Tottenham in the Premier League
EFFET CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN
The image of Danish players forming a circle around 29-year-old Eriksen to give him some dignity as he received CPR on the Copenhagen pitch will be remembered. His ordeal inspired their campaign.
Denmark are on a magical race and want to win the Euro for Christian Eriksen, who suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch in his opening match
BE CAREFUL WITH…
Dolberg is a strong and technically gifted center-forward in the Kane mold and has already scored three times in the Euros.
Winger Damsgaard turned 21 in Saturday’s win over Ukraine and has that little bit of magic, even more important for his country in Eriksen’s absence.
Left winger Maehle was one of the best players in the tournament.
Forward Kasper Dolberg has signed on for his country in the absence of star man Eriksen
OTHER KEY MEN
Denmark won the 1992 European Championship with Peter Schmeichel in goal, and his son Kasper is another formidable barrier three decades later.
Center-back Kjaer, as he showed in the Eriksen incident, is an inspiring leader and midfielder pair Delaney and Hojbjerg are two street activists.
In Eriksen’s absence, the exciting Sampdoria Damsgaard winger is able to sprinkle Danish stardust.
Kasper Schmeichel, son of Danish legend Peter, is a formidable barrier in the goal
Manager Hjulmand donned his lucky black zipped sweater for the final stages of victory against the Czechs despite the intense heat in Baku.
Then he said with a smile: “The sweater will be with me at Wembley.
Kasper Hjulmand has revealed that his black zip-up sweater is his lucky sweater and that he will wear it when Denmark takes on England at Wembley on Wednesday
Denmark entered Euro 2020 in exceptional form, losing just twice in 28 games. They then lost their first two games of the tournament – 1-0 to Finland in the match overshadowed by the Eriksen incident and 2-1 to Belgium despite an encouraging performance.
But since then, the Danes have beaten Russia and Wales four times before a relentless 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the quarter-finals.
For once, in football terms, the story is on England’s side.
The two nations have faced each other 21 times, with England winning 12. Denmark has come out on top only four times while the other five games have ended in a draw.
Denmark will be confident, however, that they beat England at Wembley the last time they met, with Christian Eriksen scoring there to give them a 1-0 victory.
The Danes will have a slight psychological advantage, having won the last time they played against England