ENGLAND take on Denmark at Wembley in the semi-finals on Wednesday. James Cantrill (@JimmyThePunt) shares his thoughts on the fixture.
England vs Denmark | Wednesday 7th July 2021, 20:00 | ITV
The second and final semi-final sees England take on Denmark under the big arch as the two nations bout for a place in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Price wise, the hosts are the favourites here at around 7/10. This puts their expected chance of victory at 59%, however, the value may be with the Danes as England have only won 35% of their games when priced accordingly. Kasper Hjulmand's side, the outsiders here at 9/2, have actually won 33% of their games at these odds, despite the fact that the implied probability of the price is just 18%!
The first angle I like for this fixture is the half time draw at 11/10 with SBK. So far this summer there have been four games between the continent's big hitters, three of which have finished all square at half time, and given the magnitude of this fixture I would put this game in that category.
The big fixtures that Southgate has overseen as England manager have often been settled in the realm of fine margins. Excluding the 4-0 thrashing of a woeful Ukraine in the Three Lions last game, 85% of England’s previous eight fixtures have been settled by a one goal margin or less- and the other 25% were settled by a two goal margin- and England were drawing at HT in five of those games.
As for the Euro’s specifically, 72% of the semi-final games since 2000- including last nights- have been honours even at half time. Therefore, at the prices available this bet certainly represents value.
Another angle I like for this fixture is England to register eleven or fewer shots at 4/5 with Bet365. Despite an embarrassment of riches offensively, Southgate has opted for a pragmatic approach this summer best illustrated by the fact that England have averaged just 7.4 shots per game. Staggeringly, only Finland (6.3) and Hungary (6.3) have averaged fewer! The Three Lions had ten vs Ukraine, five vs Germany and Czech Republic, nine vs Scotland and eight vs Croatia.
The Danes have conceded an average of eight shots per game, a total only bested by Germany and Spain! They only shipped six vs Belgium in the group stages, however, it is worth noting that Wales racked up eleven in the round of 16 and the Czech’s managed 16, though game state played a massive factor in that.
So, in a nutshell, this game pits the tournament's best remaining defence- in terms of limiting the amount of shots conceded- against the tournament's worst attack.
Finally, for a bit of a long shot, I have delved into the Man of the Match market. Denmark’s 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic in the last round was dominated by their right footed star at left wing back; Joakim Maehle.
His attacking impact from wing back has been a feature of Hjulmand’s dynamic Denmark side. The young defender, who plys his trade in Serie A with Atalanta, capped off a thrilling performance vs the Czech’s with an outside of the boot assist for the Danes second goal. This is the latest addition to an impressive Euro 2020 portfolio that has also seen him score twice.
If England are going to prevail here they must contain the Danes star man, therefore, who starts down the right side of England’s defence will have a pivotal role to play.
Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire have won UEFA’s Star Man award for England’s last two games which indicates that there is no prejudice against defenders in this market, as is sometimes the case. Therefore, I think it is worth covering all of England’s right sided defensive players, whether that be Reece James or Kyle Walker- or both- or Kieran Trippier.