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Denmark vs England predictions: Defensive pair give England cause for optimism
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Dan Sait
Gareth Southgate will be pleased with the defensive side of England's game
Gareth Southgate will be pleased with the defensive side of England's game

- Denmark struggled against Slovenia in their opening Group C match, drawing 1-1
- England laboured to an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Serbia last Sunday
- Recommended bet: England to win 2-0

A year and a day prior to Thursday's meeting with Denmark, England cut loose and thrashed a limited but capable North Macedonia side 7-0.

Since then, however, the Three Lions have lost their verve and have more often than not laboured their way to victory.

Manager Gareth Southgate will not be overly concerned by the lack of entertainment so long as his team builds on a workmanlike victory over Serbia to claim another three points against the obvious Group C danger, Denmark.

Team news

England left-back Luke Shaw is unlikely to return from a four-month absence with a hamstring injury after he failed to train with the rest of the squad on Wednesday.

Phil Foden received criticism for an under-par display against Serbia and may be replaced on the left by either Anthony Gordon or Eberechi Eze.

Denmark have reported no injuries but manager Kasper Hjulmand could be tempted to make changes after a disappointing performance against Slovenia.

The stats

Denmark's only clean sheet in their last six tournament finals appearances was a 0-0 draw against Tunisia at the 2022 World Cup.

They did not concede more than twice in any of those games, however.

England have only twice scored more than two goals in their last nine matches.

These nations have three times before met at major finals, with England unbeaten.  

England won 2-1 in extra-time in the Euro 2020 semi-finals, beat the Danes 3-0 in the 2002 World Cup round of 16 and the pair drew 0-0 at Euro '92 – a tournament Denmark won.

England will have to wary of Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen in his free role.
England will have to wary of Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen in his free role.


England received understandable criticism for the lack of adventure shown against Serbia, but Southgate will have been pleased to avoid any early slips that would have put massive pressure on this meeting with their toughest group opponents on paper.

The left-hand side remains an obvious area of concern in the continued absence of Shaw, whose overlapping runs stretch the opposition and create more space for Foden to operate in.

If Southgate is bold, he may use a natural wide-man such as Gordon or Eze in Foden's place – or replace the ill-suited Kieran Trippier with a more appropriate alternative at left-back – but the England manager is not known for his sense of adventure.

While the England attack could again fail to properly gel, they retain the individual quality to hurt Denmark, who gave up 1.1 expected goals against a limited Slovenia side and conceded four goals in two meetings with Kazakhstan during qualifying.

The Danes carry attacking threat in the likes of Manchester United duo Rasmus Hojlund and Christian Eriksen – who thrives in a freer role for his national side – but one clear upside of England's opening display was the defensive performance.

Centre-backs John Stones and Marc Guehi were making only their third start together but combined well to keep out a dangerous Serbian attack and should grow stronger as a partnership as the tournament progresses.

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