England will look to retain their narrow advantage over Belgium as they host Denmark in the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.
England have enjoyed a positive run of form in this international break, securing an emphatic 3-0 win over Wales in a friendly before edging Belgium 2-1 in the UEFA Nations League.
That victory in Wembley helped the Three Lions get a slight advantage in the group, as they now lead second-placed Belgium by a point. So Gareth Southgate’s men will be hoping to retain that lead when they once again come out to play at Wembley, this time against Denmark on Wednesday.
The Danes are pretty much in the fight, having notably registered as a comfortable 3-0 win over Iceland in their last game. They currently have four points on the board and are pushing for a second spot. However, a win over England could potentially put them level on points with the table-topper, should Belgium slump to a defeat against Iceland.
Unfortunately, the Icelanders have lost all their matches in this relatively tougher group. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at both these ahead of this fascinating encounter at the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.
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A @wembleystadium workout 👊
No time to waste for those who didn't feature against Belgium, as they completed a session after last night's game with the focus shifting straight to Denmark. pic.twitter.com/L16oNophQc
— England (@England) October 12, 2020
England fans will be looking forward to having Harry Kane back into the starting lineup, after he started on the bench against Belgium. The Tottenham striker should spearhead the English attack, at the expense of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, although we could expect him to be subbed off in the second half given how important he is to Spurs.
We also expect Jadon Sancho to be welcomed back into the starting lineup, after featuring as a sub in the last game. He should operate in his preferred right wing slot, with Marcus Rashford featuring on the opposite flank. Mason Mount may have to settle for a place on the bench.
In midfield, Southgate might recall Kalvin Phillips back into the side, considering the fitness problems that might be faced by Jordan Henderson. The Leeds United number six should operate alongside Declan Rice in the double pivot, with Jack Grealish offering further options in the middle of the park.
Elsewhere, both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier could be given some much-needed breathers. They are most likely to make way for Ben Chilwell and Reece James in the wing-back positions.
And finally, in defence, Southgate might want to consider resting Eric Dier as he looks avoid facing the wrath of Jose Mourinho. Tyrone Mings could be rewarded with a start, with the Aston Villa defender likely to feature alongside Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire while Jordan Pickford should retain his place in goal.
Probable Lineups (3-4-3): Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Mings; James, Phillips, Rice, Chilwell; Sancho, Kane, Rashford.
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand lined up quite a strong team against Iceland in the last match, certainly when compared to the team that played in the friendly against Faroe Island.
Hjulmand is likely to retain the services of most of his star players including the likes of Daniel Wass, Andreas Christensen and the in-form AC Milan star Simon Kjaer in the defensive department. They are set to form the four-man backline alongside left-back Robert Skov, who scored a goal in the last game.
— Fodboldlandsholdene 🇩🇰 (@dbulandshold) October 12, 2020
Denmark have a solid midfield unit in Thomas Delaney and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and coach Hjulmand has very little reason to shift away from that setup. He does have Philip Billing as an alternative, however.
Moving forward, Christian Eriksen will be in charge of Denmark’s creative department, operating in the number ten role. It will be interesting to see how he fares against his former Spurs teammate Kane.
The current Inter Milan star is likely to be partnered by Yussuf Poulsen and Martin Braithwaite, though neither of them is a winger by trade. That is why the visitors do have players like Pione Sisto and Andreas Skov Olsen as options on the bench.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Schmeichel; Wass, Kjaer, Christensen, Skov; Delaney, Hojbjerg; Poulsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Dolberg.
- England’s record in 22 previous meetings with Denmark is W13 D5 L4; the sides drew 0-0 in Copenhagen in their first Group A2 tussle in September.
- The teams’ most recent encounter at Wembley was a friendly game in March 2014; England’s Daniel Sturridge scored the only goal.
- England have lost just two games since the start of 2019.
- England have conceded just one goal in their last seven games, although that goal was scored in their most recent match, against Belgium.
- Denmark have lost just one game in the last two years, dating back to the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign (W8 D8).
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Following a month-long transfer saga that resulted in nothing but a failed move to Manchester United, Jadon Sancho will look to get on track with his football, especially after not featuring in Borussia Dortmund’s last match and subsequently being shunned by the club after he attended a party, breaking COVID-19 protocols set by the DFB.
A strong performance against Denmark this midweek could give him the ultimate headstart as the Englishman looks to get back to form. Dortmund have already found an excellent combination between Marco Reus and Giovanni Reyna while Julian Brandt is also pushing for a place in the first-team.
A solid display on Wednesday, therefore, could go a long way in lifting his confidence while simultaneously helping England secure a much-needed victory.
England 2-1 Denmark
England are the undisputed favourites given the solidity they have shown under the leadership of Gareth Southgate. However, Denmark are no slouch and could cause problems for the likes of Harry Maguire and Kyle Walker with their feisty attacking setup. We are expecting a narrow 2-1 win for the hosts.