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Team OTB debates the England starting XI to face Denmark

England are into the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and as the clash with Denmark looms, two of the OTB...

Team OTB debates the England s...

Team OTB debates the England starting XI to face Denmark

England are into the semi-finals of Euro 2020 and as the clash with Denmark looms, two of the OTB Sports team attempted to predict the starting XI that Gareth Southgate will opt for on Wednesday.

Shane Hannon, host of The Euro 2020 Show on OTB Sports, and Colm Boohig each decided on their optimal starting XI's and here they are.

Shane Hannon's England XI

Against Ukraine, Southgate reverted to a back four and played a 4-2-3-1 formation. Hannon believes the England manager will keep this shape against Denmark and look to attack the game from the off.

"I would not make many changes," Hannon said.

"Jordan Pickford has been incredible in goals. He has been so different, at club level, for Everton in recent years. There is always a mistake in him, but he has had an incredible tournament.

"The back four of Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, and Luke Shaw [stays as is]. Maguire has just been immense this entire tournament, a real leader that has really stepped up. Shaw had a couple of assists against Ukraine."

Hannon believes Southgate will continue with the same men in midfield. That means Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice remain in the team as England's double pivot, despite Jordan Henderson's goalscoring cameo on Saturday in Rome.

There are, however, some interesting selections further forward.

England's Harry Kane trains ahead of semi final Picture date: Tuesday July 6, 2021.

"The holding two of Phillips and Rice, I would not change," Hannon said.

"England had Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, and Raheem Sterling behind Harry Kane against Ukraine. I would just bring out Mount and put in Jack Grealish. I would keep Sancho on the right and put Grealish in."

Mount has become Mr. Dependable for England over the course of the past year so his omission is surprising, especially when you consider Grealish did not feature in the quarter-final.

"It is a very attacking team," Hannon continued.

"Sterling on the left, he has been the player of the tournament for England in many ways and Harry Kane is starting to score goals.

"For me, Grealish cannot be left out of this team nor can Sancho at the minute."

Shane Hannon's England team: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, and Harry Kane.

Colm Boohig's England XI

Southgate has shown himself to be a pragmatist at times during Euro 2020. Boohig feels that the England boss will continue in this vein when he selects his starting XI to face Denmark.

Southgate has chosen a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation in the past, something that worked terrifically well against Germany, and Boohig believes this will be the shape chosen on Tuesday at Wembley.

England forward Raheem Sterling Picture date: Tuesday July 6, 2021.

"I think he is going to match up with Denmark," Boohig said.

"Southgate is going to go with three at the back. I think he is fearful of Denmark's wing-backs. He will want to dominate Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Thomas Delaney in the middle.

"Southgate will want the Rice/ Phillips partnership to continue as is. There is no way he is dropping Mount, no chance because Mount is so important to him going backward."

Where Boohig's selection differs from Hannon's inevitably comes down to the mercurial Grealish.

England manager Gareth Southgate England manager Gareth Southgate with captain Harry Kane during a training session at St George's Park, Burton upon Trent. Picture date: Monday July 5, 2021.

"I can see Southgate [opting against] Grealish. He will do it," Boohig continued.

"I would be borderline shocked if Grealish starts against Denmark. I think he is only going to make one change from the Ukraine match and it is Kieran Trippier in for Sancho.

"Sterling is obviously a shoo-in. So is Kane. I thought Bukayo Saka would play but we have not seen him since the Germany match.

"I think they are so close now. Southgate will not risk it."

Colm Boohig's England XI: Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Kieran Trippier, Luke Shaw, Kalvin Phillips, Declan Rice, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.

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England England Vs Denmark Euro 2020 Gareth Southgate Semifinal Semifinals Wembley