England laboured to a dramatic victory over Iceland on Saturday | Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images
After nearly plucking defeat from the jaws of victory in classic fashion against Iceland, England will look to continue the momentum of their Nations League campaign against a Denmark side with plenty of familiar faces.
England huffed and puffed in Reykjavík, and despite Kyle Walker’s red card looked to have made the breakthrough against a stubborn Iceland side after Raheem Sterling’s late penalty. But with the game seemingly won a clumsy challenge from Joe Gomez gave Birkir Bjarnason a chance to level things up from the spot…and the former Aston Villa man put his effort into the stands.
Sterling scored the decisive penalty against Iceland | Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images
Meanwhile, Denmark’s start to life in the big time – having been promoted to the top tier of the Nations League – was somewhat inauspicious, with Belgium giving them a not-so-warm welcome to life in League A.
Read ahead for 90min’s preview of a game where England have a big chance to show what their new-look side can do…
When is Kick Off? Tuesday 8 September
What Time is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST)
Where is it Played? Parken
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports Main Event
Referee? István Kovács
Denmark have no suspensions to deal with going into Tuesday’s match, while Kasper Hjulmand’s side have no notable absentees.
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Christian Eriksen are both expected to feature for Denmark | LISELOTTE SABROE/Getty Images
England manager Gareth Southgate has had to contend with a number of injuries while selecting his squad, with key players Marcus Rashford and Harry Winks withdrawn from the side, while Harry Maguire’s much-publicised legal issues led to his exclusion from the squad.
Meanwhile, Kyle Walker will not take part against Denmark, with his two yellow cards against Iceland meaning that he will be suspended for this game.
Denmark: Schmeichel; Dalsgaard, Kjaer, Christensen, Wass; Poulsen, Eriksen, Braithwaite; Cornelius.
England: Pickford; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Mings, Trippier; Ward-Prowse, Phillips, Foden; Sancho, Kane, Sterling.
England looked very handy indeed during their European Championship Qualifying matches | Marc Atkins/Getty Images
In case you haven’t noticed, international football was on somewhat of a hiatus until last week, with both England and Denmark last playing in November 2019.
Nonetheless, England were beginning to establish themselves as one of football’s most aggressive international sides before football went on hold with a series of swashbuckling victories as they qualified for the postponed Euro 2020, while Denmark had no issues qualifying from a rather kind group of their own.
Here’s how both sides fared in their last five games…
Denmark 1-0 Switzerland (12/10)
Denmark 4-0 Luxembourg (15/10)
Denmark 6-0 Gibraltar (15/11)
Ireland 1-1 Denmark (18/11)
Denmark 0-2 Belgium (5/9)
Czech Republic 2-1 England (11/10)
Bulgaria 0-6 England (14/10)
England 7-0 Montenegro (14/11)
Kosovo 0-4 England (17/11)
Iceland 0-1 England (5/9)
Iceland had to be very wary of Sancho’s trickery | Haflidi Breidfjord/Getty Images
In contrast to the directness of Iceland, Denmark will be a different challenge altogether for England, pitting them against a number of skilful, steely midfield talents, and an attack which can call upon the speed of Martin Braithwaite and the intelligent movement of Yussuf Poulsen.
Realistically, however, the deadly trifecta of Harry Kane, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling should have more than enough for an uninspiring Danish defensive unit, and if Southgate picks the right team England should continue their good run of form.
That being said, the Iceland match showed us a real defensive frailty to England’s set-up at the moment that is ripe to be exploited on the break…so expect a game with a few wobbles, and perhaps a bit more drama as the Three Lions refuse to do things the easy way.
Prediction: Denmark 1-2 England