‘Football is coming home’ has been shouted and sung (badly) all throughout the streets of England ever since their national side were able to oust Germany in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.
Indeed, there is plenty of optimism to be had for the Three Lions and their faithful, as it could be argued that they will have no greater possibility of being able to win the UEFA European Championships ever than in the 2020 edition of the competition.
Naturally, given the calibre of the squad that Gareth Southgate has available to his disposal, including the men that he appears to have completely ignored throughout the competition thus far, many who use betting sites in Sweden will have fancied England after watching their Swedish team crash out to Ukraine on Tuesday night; especially as they will now go on to face England in the quarter-finals.
If England manage to get past Ukraine, they will face either the Czech Republic (who they beat in the Group Stages) or Denmark for a place in the Final, which will be played in front of a home crowd on July 11 as the game is currently scheduled to take place at Wembley Stadium.
The record books should provide Southgate’s men with some confidence – despite Andriy Shevchenko’s recent claim that his team will not fear them – as England have been highly successful in previous meetings against the yellow nation.
According to the data provided by 11v11, England have won 4 of the 7 matches that have been played between the two countries, drawing 2 and losing just 1.
The two sides have met just once in the UEFA European Championships, and that game finished 1-0 in the Three Lions’ favour.
The game was part of Group D in the 2012 Championships and was won when Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game shortly after the restart for the second half after making his return to the team following a two-game suspension.
England would win that group (that included France and Sweden) but would crash out on penalties to Italy in the quarter-finals after Andrea Pirlo showed just how cool he could be.
Going back to the Ukraine game, England’s only defeat came in qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, back in October 2009.
With that record in mind, there will be plenty of optimism on the streets of England (and maybe the whole of the United Kingdom – although breath will not be held) that Gareth Southgate can finally lead them to a trophy and end the hurt that 1996 would have provided him and those that were involved, whether playing or watching.