England v Denmark: How to back Three Lions and a dynamite 5/1 pick ahead of MD2

Harry Kane, England
Harry on the spot

Ste Tudor assesses England's second Euro test, focusing on four players expected to make the difference.

Frankfurt awaits England and Denmark this Thursday teatime and for both teams some redemption is sought.

That may sound odd given that Gareth Southgate's men opened their Euro account with a precious win last weekend. Their collapse into caution and outright panic however after taking an early lead against Serbia has led to doubts that need to be addressed, wrongs to be righted.

As for the Danes, a disappointing draw with Slovenia leaves them winless in five in major tournament clashes. It's starting to become a habit.

Flaws and mentality issues aside of course paramount is the result this week, with a win either way set to considerably shape Group C. These quartet of players will be key in determining how it looks come Friday morning.

Running the show

Gazza's effervescent displays at Italia 90 existed only in folklore and on well-worn VHS tapes when Jude Bellingham was born 13 years later. Yet already, just one game in this summer, we are witnessing similarities.

It's there in the manner that the 20-year-old is carrying himself, hyped up and intent on running the show. Against Serbia he dazzled and influenced throughout, posting a 96% pass accuracy and landing every long ball attempted. He was here, there and everywhere.

Moreover, he didn't go about his business quietly, revving up the crowd and shoulder-barging opponents at throw-ins. You can almost picture Harry Kane instructing Southgate to 'have a word' deeper into the tournament.

For now though, let's just enjoy the Jude Show, and that leads us to the number of times he'll be in close proximity to Morten Hjulmand this Thursday.

The Danish holding midfielder saw yellow on 12 occasions for Sporting last season in the Primeira Liga and was booked versus Slovenia. Bellingham meanwhile was fouled four times in England's opener.

Early rise

Bukayo Saka may have faded in the second half last Sunday evening as a lack of game-time took its toll but he was impactful and dangerous in the opening periods, attempting seven dribbles and constantly looking to get behind the Serbian rearguard.

His cross for Bellingham made it seven goal involvements in his last six starts for his country.

This Thursday he will tasked with keeping Danish wing-back Victor Kristiansen in reverse gear and offering width to a side in short supply of it elsewhere, and the Arsenal flyer should be fancied to do both well and early.

Fifteen of his 25 goal involvements for the Gunners last term came before the break.

On the spot

Three years ago at Wembley it took a debatable penalty in extra-time for England to see off Denmark in the semis, Harry Kane converting as he typically does. Don't rule out history repeating itself on Thursday.

That's because 21.8% of England's goals post-Qatar have come from the spot with an additional two pens awarded as they exited the World Cup to France. In total, Kane has scored 21 pens from 25 for his country, including in shoot-outs.

It's a bounty of pennos that Denmark can only dream of. Indeed, remarkably, the Scandinavians were last awarded, and scored, from 12 yards out 30 matches ago.

In that time, England have slotted home 14.

Pertinently, Kane himself won four of them.

Christian the conductor

He may be a peripheral figure at Old Trafford but Christian Eriksen is still the main conductor for the Danish Dynamite.

Against Slovenia he was instrumental and, for the most part, brilliant, accruing seven key passes and routinely finding pockets of space to thrive in. That he scored too put the cherry on top of a masterful display that reminded one and all that the 32-year-old remains one of the best playmakers around.


Most productive in the first half - four of his five shots were undertaken prior to the break - Eriksen will drift away from the congestion, and a patrolling Declan Rice, and trouble England at every turn.

Another threat lies with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who is deployed further forward for his country than at Spurs.

Another peripheral figure at club level, the midfielder has scored five in his last 11 for Denmark.

Now head to our Euros HUB for all the tips and previews!

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