Bukayo Saka is expected to return to England’s starting line-up in place of Jadon Sancho for Wednesday’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark, with Gareth Southgate set to opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Saka was injured for England’s 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine on Saturday but impressed in starts against the Czech Republic and Germany.
Sancho, who performed well in Rome at the weekend, is set to drop out of the side in what is expected to be the only change as England attempt to reach their first major tournament final since the 1966 World Cup in front of 60,000 fans at Wembley.
“We think Gareth Southgate is going to play a 4-2-3-1 with Bukayo Saka coming in for Jadon Sancho in the only change to the team from the game against Ukraine. I’m getting more and more confident that is going to be the case,” Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol said.
“The last time England played Denmark I was there at Wembley last year in October, England actually played with a back three. They played a 3-4-3 formation and the three defenders were Kyle Walker, Conor Coady and Harry Maguire.
“It looks like Gareth Southgate has changed that and decided now the best way to face Denmark this evening is to go with a flat back four and a 4-2-3-1 formation.”
Gary Neville says he would pick Saka to start against Denmark but admits you could flip a coin, such is the attacking talent Southgate’s side is blessed with.
While Sky Sports pundit Neville would select the Arsenal man, he believes Southgate could realistically go with one of Sancho, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford and still not be disappointed.
“I think Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane pick themselves,” he said. “But between Saka, Grealish, Foden, Sancho, Rashford, I honestly think you could flip a coin between them all and it could land on any of them and you wouldn’t be disappointed. We have such strength in those positions.
“We are so blessed, that actually I pick one – Bukayo Saka to come back in for Sancho – but it’s not because I favour one over the other. I just thought Saka brought such energy to the game against Germany at Wembley, and such energy to the game against Czech Republic that I feel he comes back in.
“The Danish team won’t enjoy playing against him – that’s not to say they’d enjoy playing against Sancho or any other – I just think Saka had such an incredible influence on that crowd at Wembley.”
Southgate: England making massive strides
England have re-emerged as an international force in the latter stages of tournaments under Southgate’s tenure, reaching the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup, the Nations League in 2019 and now at Euro 2020.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, the England boss said: “These players are making massive strides and breaking barriers all the time. We have broken barriers in this tournament and we have another opportunity to do that.
“We have never been to a European Championship final so we can be the first, which is really exciting for everybody.
“The prize is one that we’ve never experienced. Denmark, of course, have won it so they’ve got a better record than us and I think people forget that in our country sometimes.”
In the latest Sky Sports Football Euros podcast, Peter Smith is joined by Ben Ransom, Nick Wright and Gerard Brand to preview England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark.
What threats do Denmark pose on England’s watertight defence? What can England learn from October’s Nations League defeat against the Danes? And has Raheem Sterling been the overall player of the tournament so far?