Don’t forget about Phil! Glenn Hoddle backs Foden to START ahead of Jadon Sancho in England’s semi-final against Denmark tonight… and ex-Three Lions boss insists skipper Harry Kane is ‘hitting the road at just the right time’
- England face Denmark in the second Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley tonight
- Phil Foden has not featured since the group-stage draw against Scotland
- But Glenn Hoddle says the Man City star should get the nod this evening
- He added that Harry Maguire has taken the team to another level since his return
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle believes Phil Foden should return to the England starting XI for tonight’s crunch Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark at Wembley.
Manchester City star Foden has not featured in England’s last three matches, since starting the opening two games against Croatia and Scotland, with Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho all preferred.
But Hoddle, who played in four major tournaments for his country and coached the national team at the 1998 World Cup, has backed the 21-year-old to be involved from the off – but insists that should be the only change from the side who thrashed Ukraine in the quarter-finals on Saturday.
Glenn Hoddle (L) has backed Phil Foden (R) to start for England against Denmark tonight
Speaking at a Betfair event, Hoddle said: ‘There’ll only be one change and it’ll be on that right-hand side.
‘Foden’s done that job, don’t be surprised if he comes back in. Saka did OK when he played, didn’t he? He’s a great player for that flexibility. But for me, I’d bring Foden back in on that side.
‘Sancho could be the right person again, Grealish is an option too… but I think our bench is as good as anything in European football and I include France and Belgium and Portugal in that, our squad is so deep.
‘We haven’t gone into extra-time yet. If I was a Danish player in extra-time, the last thing I want is Foden, Grealish, Rashford with his pace. We’ve got so much quality to win a game or turn it around.’
Foden has not featured at Euro 2020 since the goalless draw against Scotland 19 days ago
Jadon Sancho started and impressed in the thrashing of Ukraine in the quarters on Saturday
One player who is certain to start is captain Harry Kane, who after a goalless group-stage has scored three goals in his last two games.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick top of the Euro 2020 goalscoring charts on five – but both out of the tournament – many have tipped Kane to claim the golden boot, just like he did at the 2018 World Cup.
‘He was never going to be left out earlier on and rightly so,’ Hoddle insisted. ‘It’s a great sign to be winning games and your talisman hasn’t scored yet.
‘You knew it was going to turn for him. Did you see his reaction after his Germany goal?! He’s ready to go on a run – he can’t wait for his next chance.
Harry Kane has found some form in the knockout-stage after three difficult group matches
‘After that goal, you saw his celebration to the corner flag, it was a totally different celebration to what he normally does – he jumped in the air on his backside whereas usually it’s the punch in the air! But that was out the window because the chains were coming off.
‘He’s hitting the road just at the right time. Of course he can score another two or three but I don’t actually think we need his goals. We have so many threats, add set-pieces to that now too!’
Hoddle, 63, also insisted that Harry Maguire has taken England to ‘another level’ since his re-inclusion at centre back following his spell on the sidelines – and he also praised the consistency of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jordan Pickford throughout the tournament.
Harry Maguire has looked solid since returning in defence and scored in the quarter-final win
Kalvin Phillips (far-left) and Declan Rice (far-right) have been mainstays in central midfield
England have played all but one of their games at Wembley and with the semis and final also at the National Stadium, Hoddle backed the home advantage to cancel out the wave of momentum opponents Denmark are riding on at the moment.
‘If this was in Copenhagen I’d be very concerned with that crest of wave – but I think we nullify it as they’re coming to our backyard,’ he said.
‘We’ve got 60,000 at Wembley, absolutely rocking, I think it nullifies that emotional scenario. I can only see an England win, I’ll go 2-1.’
And – dare we say it – what about further down the line, with Italy waiting in the final after their penalty shoot-out victory against Spain on Tuesday?
‘This Italy side are not the team of yesteryear – I think we’re better than them at the moment too!’
Then again, one step at a time. A first major tournament final in 55 years is all that matters today.
This Euros Betfair is now offering No Cash Out Suspensions on Match Odds markets, find out more here: https://betting.betfair.com/football/euro-2020/
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