Gareth Southgate declares England ready to take next step - and keeps Denmark guessing over system

·2-min read
Gareth Southgate declares England ready to take next step - and keeps Denmark guessing over system
England manager Gareth Southgate applauds the fans after the Euro 2020 Quarter Final match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome (PA Wire)
England manager Gareth Southgate applauds the fans after the Euro 2020 Quarter Final match at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome (PA Wire)

Gareth Southgate has declared England ready to secure a first final since 1966 – and has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of Wednesday’s Euros semi-final against Denmark.

Bukayo Saka was ruled out of Saturday’s quarter-final win against Ukraine, but has been back in training this week, leaving the Three Lions with no major injury concerns for their Wembley home-coming.

Southgate is convinced his team can go one step further than in the World Cup in Russia in 2018 when they were beaten in the semis by Croatia.

He says his team – who are undefeated in these finals and still to concede a goal – are primed to take the next step.

“We’re very excited about the game,” he said. “That’s for sure and we know that we are going to have tremendous support throughout the country so it’s a great feeling for us.

“We are ready for the game. The players are ready. We’ve got tremendous experience now themselves having been in this situation themselves. The preparation has been calm.

“We know we are playing a really good opponent. So it is going to be a really tight game and an exciting game for everybody.”

Southgate is determined to keep Denmark guessing about his system and his starting XI after ringing the changes throughout the tournament.

He added: “We’ve got everybody available. We have got one or two checks to make tonight.

“In terms of the system over the last three years we’ve always been flexible with our approach. We always have to try to pick right approach for the opponent.

“Denmark have been changing during matches so they’ve got real fluidity with their selection. We will have to be aware of that.

“We’ve got players that make good decisions on the field. They’ve got good experience coming up against different systems. They know how to counter that and they know where to create the spaces.

“We’ve been working together for quite a long time now. We understand our own patterns of play.”

Southgate could switch to a back three, which would see Kieran Trippier or Reece James come in on the right, with Kyle Walker moving into the centre.

Mason Mount is likely to keep his place after returning to the team for the 4-0 win against Ukraine following a period of self-isolation.

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