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EURO 2020

Michael Owen’s defiant claim on Denmark stars who would get into England’s starting lineup

Former England star Michael Owen believes only Denmark keeper Kasper Schmeichel would make it into Gareth Southgate’s starting XI.

Owen made the comments ahead of the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 semi-final against the Danes on Wednesday.

The ex-Liverpool forward said the difference in quality in both teams’ players means he thinks England will win the match.

He told BetVictor : “England looked very impressive when demolishing Ukraine 4-0 on Saturday evening and so their confidence and belief must be sky high going into this one.

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“Let’s get it right, England have been getting better and better throughout the tournament and if you match up both teams against each other then only Denmark’s goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, would get into England’s team.

Michael Owen believes England will beat Denmark
Michael Owen believes England will beat Denmark

“However, Jordan Pickford has been one of the standout players for England during the tournament.

“So, with that in mind, and with the nation behind them, I really do fancy the Three Lions to make it eight clean sheets in a row and claim a 1-0 win to secure a place in what would be England’s first major final since 1966. Come On England!.”

Many people could disagree with Owen’s claim as Pickford’s name would be many fans and pundits’ first name on the team sheet.

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He has kept five clean sheets in the Euros so far to make England the first team in the tournament’s history to not concede a goal in their opening five matches.

The Everton star’s good form hasn’t gone unnoticed by Southgate who has showered him with praise.

He told The Times: “He’s been excellent.

Schmeichel will be in goal for Denmark in their semi-final
Schmeichel will be in goal for Denmark in their semi-final

“The last couple of months of the season his performances have been very calm for his club. He’s been decisive at the right moments for us and has made good decisions with the ball at his feet.

“You’ve seen the range of passing he’s got. He’s dropped a few into the front players. He’s been able to play through the lines.

“He’s in a really good place and he’s given us a really solid start point for what has been strong defence from the whole team.”

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The boss, his teammates and England fans will be hoping Pickford’s saving abilities continue to send them to their first Euros final ever.

England came close in Euro ’96 but lost to Germany in the semi-final on penalties and Southgate believes his side can make history.

“We’ve had difficult nights, some tough performances, but we’re now playing with a lot of belief and I think the players can see what’s possible. We still have a long way to go and we’re not satisfied,” he added.

“Saturday was another enjoyable night for everybody but I’ve got to say before the end of the game I was already thinking about the next challenge and that’s the one for us. We’ve never been to a European Championship final so it’s another opportunity to make history.

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“It’s not so much pressure for this team, it’s another challenge that they have the chance to take on. At the moment they’re rising to those challenges.”

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