Southgate's strategy will be analyzed for years to come in a nation still waiting for a first major title since the 1966 World Cup.
If England are to make history at Wembley this weekend, they need Sterling to unleash his pace and trickery on the Italians.
The Juventus centre-backs are the only survivors of Italy's 4-0 final loss to Spain in Euro 2012, and central to the side Roberto Mancini's reconstructed after the year 2018.
The Manchester City forward went to ground following a challenge by Joakim Maehle after bursting into the Denmark area in the first half of extra time.
Raheem Sterling lost his balance following a challenge in the area by Denmark defender Joakim Maehle and then fell to the ground under pressure by Mathias Jensen in the first half of extra time.
Denmark coach Kasper Hjulmand said he cannot understand how such a big call was made at such a crucial moment.
The Manchester City star is already playing in his fourth major tournament but his talent, until now, had not been fully appreciated by the England support.
England's first success against the Germans in a knockout match for 55 years was secured by late goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at Wembley on Tuesday.
Euro 2020: If it goes wrong you're dead, says Gareth Southgate on team selection after England beat Germany
England took down Germany 2-0 with Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane each scoring in the second half to seal a spot in the quarters.
Sterling opened the scoring with his third goal of the tournament before Harry Kane silenced his critics to seal a 2-0 win four minutes from time.
Late goals by Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at Wembley put England into the quarter-finals Tuesday and brought down the curtain on Loew's 15-year reign as Germany coach.
For all the experience in Germany's side compared to the youth of England, it was World Cup winner Thomas Müller who squandered a chance to equalize in the 81st minute
England will face the second-placed team in Group F on June 29, with France, Germany, Portugal or Hungary all potential opponents.
England can’t even blame unfamiliar surroundings for being held to a 0-0 draw by Scotland on Friday after beating Croatia 1-0. All of its group games are at Wembley Stadium.
Southgate's side made a positive start to their bid to win the European Championship thanks to Sterling's second-half strike at Wembley.