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Gareth Southgate gives Bukayo Saka the nod as England face Denmark in semi-final

Czech Republic v England – UEFA Euro 2020 – Group D – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Bukayo Saka returned for England’s Euro 2020 semi-final with Denmark at Wembley.

The Arsenal man replaced Jadon Sancho in the Three Lions’ only change from the 4-0 quarter-final win over Ukraine.

Denmark, the 1992 winners, were unchanged following their quarter-final victory against the Czech Republic.

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Ben White, Ben Chilwell and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were left out of the squad entirely by England boss Gareth Southgate.

Speaking to ITV ahead of the game, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “We’ve tried to keep things as normal as possible. The players have gained big-match experience over the past few years, there’s hardly a scenario the players have not been through.”

On Saka’s return, he said: “(We hope he does) what he’s done. He’s embraced the challenge. We were pleased with Jadon at the weekend, but we felt for the balance, Bukayo was the right choice.”

Bukayo Saka has been given the nod

Bukayo Saka has been given the nod (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

On the game, he added: “We have to defend in the way we have, deal with their play between the lines, use the ball the way we have in the last couple of games and give them the sort of game that will cause them problems.”

Ahead of kick-off, former England defender and coach Gary Neville told the current crop of players to seize the day.

Neville wrote on Instagram: “History beckons for this team. To reach back-to-back Semi-Finals is incredible, but it’s not enough. You become nearly men!

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“I do have genuine confidence in this manager and players that this time a semi-final isn’t the end! To win any semi-final takes a great performance. This is a really good Denmark team and anything less than our best and/or luck will not be enough.

“The only danger is that the lads don’t see the danger. When you’re euphoric and on a wave in sport or life you can have that feeling it’s never going to end and something becomes your right. It doesn’t work like that.

“Tonight is a night to be cold, don’t let emotion take over, stick to the manager’s plan and focus. Go for it lads! Focus and grab this chance!”