Saturday in the European Championships focuses on the bottom half of the draw as England look to take another step to Euro 2020 glory when they face Ukraine in Rome (8pm BBC).
Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips were both booked on Tuesday night and another yellow would see them miss a potential semi-final, while the same applies to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. Rice was also noted struggling late on, as was Kieran Trippier, but the England manager may be expected to revert to a back four and play more on the front foot against Ukraine with Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell available again.
Ukraine are sweating on the fitness of their main man, West Ham’s Andriy Yarmolenko, who limped off the field against Sweden and are expected to line-up with a back three once again, a formation that served them well on Tuesday at Hampden Park.
The concern for England is complacency after the emotion of the victory over Germany, although I am convinced Southgate will not let those thoughts get close to the dressing room. This is a man who waited 25 years to right the wrong of his penalty miss at Euro ’96, and with that achieved, he will not let a winning chance slip. Maguire alluded to such immediately after in a post-match interview.
Ukraine’s win over Sweden was their first knockout victory in a European Championship and it is just the second time they have reached the last eight of any tournament, previously quarter-finalists in 2006 World Cup in Germany.
It all points to an England success as they leave Wembley for the first time in this competition. The Three Lions are very short at 1/5 to book a semi-final spot and 4/9 they do it with a win in ninety minutes. Ukraine are 8/1 for the match and 100/30 to qualify with the draw also 100/30.
England to win 2-0 is 5/1 and 3-0 victory 8/1 but the slight odds against of 21/20 about England winning to nil, considering it is now 572 minutes since they last conceded a goal, looks the best bet, especially if Yarmolenko, their main creative source, fails to make the starting line-up.
Harry Kane is 5/2 to open the scoring and Evens to find the net after getting off the mark against Germany while Raheem Sterling, scoring the first three of England’s goals of the Euros, is 6/4 for a fourth strike and 4/1 he scores first for the fourth time in five games.
Earlier in the afternoon we head to Baku where Czech Republic meet Denmark (5pm ITV).
The Danes are clear favourites at 11/10 to win the match (4/7 to qualify) after comfortably winning versus Wales while Czech Republic are 3/1 to win in 90 minutes (5/4 to qualify) after negotiating the Netherlands, with the draw a 9/4 shot.
Simon Kjaer, Denmark’s captain and leader throughout all the adversity they experienced three weeks ago, faces another late check after limping out of the Wales game while RB Leipzig’s Yussuf Pouslen, who was left out of the squad last Saturday with a hamstring injury, remains a doubt.
Marauding left wing back Joakim Maehle has bagged in his last two games and might be of interest at 14/1 to score first and 6/1 anytime while Kaspar Dolberg, the two goal hero last Saturday, is 5/1 to score first and 9/4 for a third of the tournament.
The Danes have scored four times in back-to-back games and are brimming with confidence as they look to avenge their 3-0 defeat by the Czechs at this quarter-final stage from Euro 2004.
Czech Republic meanwhile can call upon four goal striker Patrick Schick, who has scored in every game except against England. He is 5/4 to score first and 9/4 anytime which would put him level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the Golden Boot standings.
I felt they were just getting into the ascendency when Mattias De Ligt got his marching orders for Netherlands and were good value for their victory. Their defence has only been breached twice (England and Croatia) and with both Tomas Soucek and Tomas Holes having solid tournaments in midfield, they have been underrated in the market once again and look the value at 3/1 inside ninety minutes.
I also don’t expect too many goals on what could be a nervy evening for both sides, but I’m just siding with the Czech’s defence to come out on top.