sport news Euro 2020: Brian Laudrup - No one fancied Denmark in the 1992 semi-final either

sport news Euro 2020: Brian Laudrup - No one fancied Denmark in the 1992 semi-final either
sport news Euro 2020: Brian Laudrup - No one fancied Denmark in the 1992 semi-final either

History provides hope where Denmark are concerned. It's going to take a monumental effort at Wembley to extend our incredible story in the Euros but beating England on Wednesday is not an impossible task.

Gareth Southgate has some formidable talent at his disposal. Harry Kane tops the list for me. Then there's Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho, Harry Maguire and more. 

But what about a line-up containing Marco van Basten, Dennis Bergkamp, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard, Ronald Koeman and Frank de Boer? They were all in the Holland team Denmark faced in the 1992 semi-final. And we made it through.

Brian Laudrup and Denmark won the European Championship final in 1992 against Germany

Brian Laudrup and Denmark won the European Championship final in 1992 against Germany

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Denmark were big underdogs vs the Dutch in the semi and are again at Euro 2020 vs England

Denmark were big underdogs vs the Dutch in the semi and are again at Euro 2020 vs England

It's a different era of football now, of course. But some of the same fundamentals still apply if Denmark are to end England's hopes and book a return to Wembley for Sunday's final. 

Starting well is essential. That might sound obvious but it is particularly pertinent to this game. Denmark looked a bit tired at the end of their 2-1 win over Czech Republic on Saturday. The conditions in Baku, the heat and humidity, were very tough.

There are only four days between the quarter-final and the semi-final. And Denmark had to take a nine-hour flight home from Baku. That has to take a toll. In this situation, you are playing time as well as the opponent.

The performance against the Czechs wasn't all about brilliant football, but the players dug in and really suffered to get the result. Perhaps that weariness is one concern. It was exactly the same in 1992. 

We were already close to emptying our tank of energy come the semis but then we scored after five minutes against Holland. We had wings again. The tiredness was forgotten. It ended up 2-2 after extra-time and we won on penalties.

SHARING THE LOVE

This time around, Denmark face an England team yet to concede in the tournament. It's a very nice statistic but it doesn't hugely worry me. The scoring prowess of Kasper Hjulmand's side has probably been the revelation of the Euros from our point of view.

Without Christian Eriksen, who made the difference on a number of big occasions, the question was whether enough attacking threat could be found. Guys like Yussuf Poulsen, Kasper Dolberg and Martin Braithwaite hadn't scored that many in recent times.

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But every one of them has turned up in this competition. Joakim Maehle, Mikkel Damsgaard, Andreas Christensen and Thomas Delaney are also contributing. There are now goals throughout a team who have been so impressive.

Ten were scored over the last three games against Russia, Wales and the Czechs. In each of those matches, Denmark took the lead. Getting the first goal could be critical again. It's hugely important we don't concede early.

Kasper Dolberg (right) and several other attackers have stepped up and scored big goals

Kasper Dolberg (right) and several other attackers have stepped up and scored big goals

KANE CLICKING

In terms of defending, I would say Denmark and England are on a similar level. To me, it's about which attack really clicks and which individuals can find those moments of brilliance that will make a difference.

With that in mind, Kane has checked into the tournament at the worst possible point for us Danes. He looked a little tired in the group games, a bit frustrated. He was dropping a lot deeper than he does usually. 

But his goal against

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