England vs Denmark: Sheffield fans anxiously wait to see if tonight be 'the one' that takes them to Wembley final
Sheffield’s football fans are waiting anxiously this afternoon to see if England’s Euro final dreams will carry them to Wembley this weekend.
The mood in the city’s sports bars ahead of this evening’s 8pm kick off against Denmark is more apprehensive than the last two matches.
Fans went into the Germany game with tempered expectations given the history. But win England did, and the buzz ahead of the Ukraine match made the decisive 4-0 success feel like a victory lap.
But this afternoon, there is a shared pang of anxiety.
"This could be the banana peel,” said one fan, Will, in the Common Room Sports Bar today. “It’s a very easy slip up if they aren’t careful.”
"I’m confident,” countered his mate Elliot. “But I just feel it’s going to be a difficult game."
The big question is if Denmark will be a resistance between England and the final against Italy in Wembley this weekend.
A big factor is the team’s loss of Christian Eriksen who collapsed from a heart attack on the pitch on June 12 and has not been able to resume play.
“Denmark have a lot of quality from all over Europe and they’ve got a sense of national identity,” said one fan, Laurence. “And I think the loss of Eriksen will spur them on and bring them together.”
But on the other side of the argument, another fan, Craig, said the loss was England’s advantage and said: “They’re missing their best player.
"Denmark has been a declining team for years while we’ve only got stronger recently. We’ve got more quality. I’m very confident about today.”
"Teams that get to grow into the tournament do the best,” said fan Aaron. “And England have grown into this tournament.
"But Denmark have been a wild card in the past, who’s to say they couldn’t go all the way again.”
"It’s in reach is the worst thing,” said his friend Matty. “We knew we couldn’t win the World Cup, but we could win this one.
"But Denmark have good players. They have Premier League players who have played against some of the best. And they have a sense of togetherness.”
The mood is chillier today that previous pre-game afternoons. Within a few hours fans will either be commiserating or dancing in Sheffield City Centre’s fountains.