Preview: England faces Denmark in rematch of semifinal last time decided by Harry Kane goal

AP , Thursday 20 Jun 2024

England faces Denmark on Thursday as the leader of Group C at the European Championship after a 1-0 win over Serbia. Denmark was denied by Slovenia’s late leveler in a 1-1 draw also on Sunday. They meet in Frankfurt at the Waldstadion where kickoff is at 6 p.m. local time (1600 GMT). Here’s what to know about the match:

Harry Kane
England s Harry Kane is challenged by Serbia s Nikola Milenkovic during a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. AFP

Match facts

— Denmark’s need for a win is greater, ahead of a final Group C game against a physically imposing Serbia team.

— The teams renew their rivalry from a Euro 2020 semifinal played three years ago at Wembley Stadium. England won 2-1 after extra time, sealed when Harry Kane followed up his penalty being saved by Kasper Schmeichel to score when the ball rebounded to him.

— Denmark did not easily forget how England got that decisive spot-kick, for a foul awarded against defender Joakim Mæhle — “a penalty which should not have been a penalty,” coach Kasper Hjulmand said then.

— There is a familiarity between the squads with teammates at Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Brentford on either side of this game.

Team news

— Gareth Southgate is coaching England at his fourth tournament and will be less troubled than analysts and fans about the manner of victory over Serbia. England eased its way through the group stage at Euro 2020 — making at least two changes between each game — did not concede a goal, then accelerated through the knockout rounds.

— Southgate’s main call could be if Trent Alexander-Arnold’s long-range passing is retained in central midfield alongside Declan Rice. Recent debutants Kobbie Mainoo and Adam Wharton are options.

— England’s preferred left back Luke Shaw is still not involved in team training, and Kieran Trippier is set to continue on his less favored flank.

— Denmark has reported no injury concerns.

By the numbers

— A draw can be a good result for Denmark even if it ends the day third in the standings. Slovenia plays Serbia in the earlier game Thursday. In two previous Euros with a 24-team tournament format — which sends four of the six third-place teams to the knockout phase — a team with three draws has done enough to advance.

— Another England win would set the team up to win Group C and face a third-place team in the round of 16. The group runner-up will face the Group A winner, likely Germany, in the vibrant Dortmund stadium.

— However, England has never won two straight games to start a Euros tournament.

— Defender Simon Kjaer was an unused substitute against Slovenia and his Denmark record of 132 national-team games is now just one ahead of Christian Eriksen, who scored in that 1-1 draw.

What they’re saying

— “We see it every day in training here, and he’s such a nice guy as well. You know he has high standards that he sets and expects.” — England midfielder Kobbie Mainoo, 19, on star teammate Jude Bellingham, who turns 21 next week

— “Once the tournament starts you get into a rhythm. It came and we won it. So, we’re confident now, we’re happy.” — England winger Bukayo Saka on winning the first game

— “We have it in our power to have a fantastic game against England where nobody expects us to win.” — Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand

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