Gareth Southgate is expected to make one change to his starting XI for the huge Euro 2020 semi-final clash with Denmark on Wednesday night.
The Three Lions boss is set to field more or less the same team that dispatched Ukraine 4-0 in Rome on Saturday, but widespread reports say Bukayo Sako will come back into the side.
After two impressive back-to-back performances against Czech Republic and Germany, the Arsenal star was suffering from a slight knock and so Jadon Sancho was handed his first start of the tournament.
The Manchester United new boy strutted his stuff as per usual but is likely to return to the bench at Wembley, with Saka starting on the right flank alongside Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Mason Mount.
🚨 England expected to make one change for tonight’s #EURO2020 SF v Denmark — Bukayo Saka set to regain starting place from Jadon Sancho on right of #ENG attack. Saka fit after minor ankle issue. Suggests a 4-2-3-1 but versatile @TheAthleticUK #ENGDEN #DEN https://t.co/X9EnBW9NND
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 7, 2021
The change is one that former England and Manchester United right-back Gary Neville is onboard with. He feels as though Saka’s energy will cause problems for a Denmark side that has looked incredibly solid during this tournament.
“I think Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane pick themselves,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“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.”
Victory for England will bring a major final appearance for the first time in 55 years. The last final was of course the 1966 World Cup win on home soil.
And though England are favourites and have the home support, Southgate feels there is pressure on Denmark, the 1992 winners.
“We’ve had expectation during the whole tournament and I think we have dealt with that really well, in the opening game for example, and in the game with Germany,” the 50-year-old said, as per Football365.
“But we’ve never been to a final so the pressure is what you choose it to be really, I think it is a motivating thing, it is a challenge for us.
“If we were a country that had won five titles and had to match what had gone before I might feel differently – but we are not.
“Denmark have won it so maybe there is more pressure on Denmark to replicate that – but it is not the way we are viewing the game, we know it is about performing on the day.”
Featured Image Credit: PA