The second semifinal at Euro 2020 sees two narrative forces collide, with Denmark’s fairy tale run that started in such (near-)tragedy looking to upset England’s own “it’s coming home” manifest destiny.
As Kasper Schmeichel cheekily pointed out in the pre-match press conference, England have never actually won the Euros, so this whole coming home business is extra silly — can’t go home to a place you’ve never been! — though obviously this belief isn’t really rooted in such a logical place. England’s run has galvanized an entire nation, and isn’t that the whole point of sports and shared experiences?
Kasper Schmeichel was asked what it would mean to stop football from 'coming home' ... pic.twitter.com/0AAwNr8J0L— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 6, 2021
England will likely call on Mason Mount, as usual, while Andreas Christensen is sure to start for Denmark. Reece James and, especially, Ben Chilwell have seen limited action — Chilwell in fact is just one of a very few non-goalkeepers on England without a single minute to his name (even 4-0 up against Ukraine, Southgate decided to play Kieran Trippier on the wrong flank instead) — and those preferences probably will continue.
The winners move on to Sunday’s final, where they will take on unbeatable Italy.
ENGLAND vs. DENMARK
Date / Time: Wednesday, July 7, 2021, 20.00 BST; 3pm EDT
Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Referee: Danny Makkelie (NED)
On TV: ITV 1 (UK); ESPN, Univision, TUDN (USA); elsewhere
Streaming online: ITV Hub (UK); ESPN+, Univision Now (USA)