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Three Lions to flood Wembley as England set their sights on first major football final since 1966

Written by on 07/07/2021

England fans are hours away from the team’s Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark, with 60,000 fans set to provide an electric atmosphere as they aim for their first major final since 1966.

With home advantage on their side, a repeat of the raucous atmosphere inside Wembley that greeted England’s game with Germany is assured.

England are clear favourites but Denmark – a team that won the 1992 championship against the odds – appear full of belief having battled through after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac arrest in their first match.

Jorginho celebrates after taking the winning penalty
Image: The winner will face Italy – who beat Spain on penalties on Tuesday night

Their fans will be massively outnumbered at Wembley though, due to COVID travel restrictions. Instead, some 6,000 tickets have been made available to Danes living in the UK.

A date with Italy on Sunday awaits the winner of the match, after they edged past Spain in a penalty shootout at Wembley last night.

It finished 1-1 after extra time and both teams squandered their first penalties – but a miss from Spain’s Alvaro Morata proved decisive and allowed Jorginho to send the Italians through.

Tens of millions are expected to watch from home for tonight’s 8pm kick-off, while 50,000 pints a minute – 6.8 million in total – are set to be ordered at pubs, according to the British Beer and Pub Association.

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Image: England’s thrashing of Ukraine prompted celebrations around the country
Raheem Sterling has perhaps been England's stand-out player of the competition
Image: Raheem Sterling has perhaps been England’s stand-out player of the competition

Fans hoping to watch from a beer garden will do well to keep an eye on the weather, as sunshine and showers are forecast in some areas.

Manager Gareth Southgate has won huge praise for the team’s performances and now stands two matches away from a fairytale win 25 years after his own penalty miss sent England out of Euro 1996.

Southgate has repeatedly said that past failures are irrelevant to his young squad – and that the pressure to reach their first Euros final is an opportunity to “break barriers”.

He’s not underestimating the threat from Denmark, adding: “We’re playing a really good opponent, we knew that before the autumn, and even more so after the games in the autumn. It’ll be a really tight game, an exciting game for everybody.”

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‘This is our opportunity’ – Southgate

With his starting 11 still to be revealed, and the likes of Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish all in the running, many fans have been debating who should make the cut – and Sky Sports’ own experts have given their take on who they think should play.

Luckily for England, captain Harry Kane has found form at the right time and will be hoping to add to his three tournament goals against Denmark.

Kane has said the team will present a special shirt for Denmark midfielder Eriksen – his former Spurs team-mate – ahead of kick-off “to show our support from everyone at England”.

Denmark supporters display banners for Christian Eriksen
Image: Denmark have battled to the last four after Christian Eriksen had a cardiac arrest in their first game
Harry Kane scores an early goal against Ukraine
Image: Kane has found his form at the right time after a slow start

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer have both sent messages of support to the Three Lions.

“Gareth Southgate and the England squad have done the nation proud in the Euros, and tonight we will all be wishing them the best of luck in getting to the final. Bring it home!” the prime minister said.

Sir Keir said the team “will have the whole nation behind them” and that “both on and off the pitch, they have shown the best of England. There’s been only one song featured in our house since Saturday – it’s coming home”.

 Prince William, Kate, and Prince George celebrate Sterling's goal. Pic: Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Image: Prince William will again be at Wembley. Pic: Christian Charisius/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

Prince William, who was seen enthusiastically celebrating during the win over Germany, will again be at Wembley for the match in his role as FA president.

His father, Prince Charles, may also be tuning in after a royal source confirmed that “both Their Royal Highnesses will be closely following the outcome”.

Charles also got in the spirit on Tuesday when he invited the Coldstream Guards to play fans’ anthems Three Lions and Sweet Caroline in the gardens of Clarence House.

 Sky News

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