Bukayo Saka starts for England in their Euro 2020 semifinal against Denmark at Wembley Stadium. He enters the lineup for Jadon Sancho in a lineup that otherwise remains unchanged for the Three Lions
Lineups for England vs. Denmark
- England XI: Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Saka, Sterling, Kane
- Denmark XI: Schmeichel, Kjaer, Christensen, Vestergaard; Stryger Larsen, Hojbjerg, Delaney, Maehle; Dolberg, Brathwaite, Damsgaard
How Sake helps England
Arsenal's young playmaker missed the 4-0 win over Ukraine in Rome with a minor knock but is likely to take up his spot on the right side of Gareth Southgate's attack, the same position he occupied in victories over the Czech Republic and Germany. Saka's return means Jadon Sancho finds himself out of the starting XI once more despite impressing in England's quarterfinal win.
The change to the starting XI could offer England's right flank more protection against Danish wing back Joakim Maehle, who has provided two assists and a goal in what has been an outstanding individual tournament for the Atalanta defender so far. Saka performed similarly impressively in cutting out service to German danger man Robin Gosens in the quarter final win at Wembley Stadium.
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Saka had declared himself fit for the Ukraine game but Southgate ultimately opted against selecting him.
The second youngest member of Southgate's squad, Saka has won widespread acclaim both for his performances on the pitch and for the atmosphere he has helped to cultivate around the England camp. "I didn't know him before I came to the camp and I didn't know what he would be like but I have got on so well with him, I would love him to be my brother," said Manchester United left back Luke Shaw. "He is so cool, so funny and he makes everyone laugh and he doesn't mean it. He is not a loud person, it is just the way he is, the way he speaks.
"Someone like that in the camp is good to have and he gets everyone laughing and we just all love him and appreciate the way he is."
Starting the semi final of a major tournament is just the latest step on what Saka referred to as the "dream come true" that has been his life on the football pitch in an interview with CBS Sports in March.