Danes and Czechs at full strength for their quarterfinal clash
Whereas Gareth Southgate’s team went into its last-16 tie with Germany amid relentless reminders of historic failures, it is simply expected to beat Ukraine in Rome on Saturday.
Any objective analysis of the two teams would reach the same conclusion.
England is ranked third in the world while Ukraine is 24th. The average player value of the England team is €57.8 million, while Ukraine’s is €6.6 million.
In the group stage, England was unbeaten and finished top of its group while Ukraine lost twice and finished third.
While Southgate’s men go into this game still buzzing, Ukraine is also on a high after Artem Dovbyk’s header at the end of extra-time gave it a 2-1 win over Sweden.
The pressure is all on England for whom defeat would mean the tournament is viewed as a failure and it will leave its home turf for the Stadio Olimpico where the crowd will be smaller but probably backing its underdog opponent.
Denmark and the Czech Republic both welcome back injured players for their quarterfinal in Baku after an extended rest since their last-16 victories over Wales and the Netherlands respectively.
The Danes are back in the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004.
The Czechs, who won in 1976 and were runners-up in 1996, made their last appearance in the quarters in 2012.
Striker Yussuf Poulsen returns after missing the Danes’ 4-0 drubbing of Wales in Amsterdam last Saturday in a game that saw his replacement Kasper Dolberg score two goals, giving coach Kasper Hjulmand a pleasant selection headache.
Having missed playmaker Christian Eriksen since his cardiac arrest in their opener against Finland, Hjulmand’s other attacking players have stepped up.
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