It’s been 55 years of agonizing soccer heartbreak for fans of The Three Lions, but it could very well be over. They will face Italy at Wembley in the Euro 2020 Final on Sunday night. It’s been painful miss after painful miss since the famous extra-time win over West Germany in 1966.
Gareth Southgate could put all of this behind with a young, talented squad full of depth and determination. Harry Kane was the star of the semi-final show when he rebounded his own saved penalty in extra time to defeat Denmark in a nail-biting affair.
Before the semi-final, there was the dismantling of Ukraine in the quarter-finals, the historic defeat of Germany in the last-16, and victories over Croatia and the Czech Republic.
In their first-ever Euro final, The Three Lions take on a formidable Italy team with a hugely impressive campaign. Mancini’s men might not have been the best team in the semi-final battle against Spain, but they showed their nerve by winning the penalty shootout. Don’t forget that this is a team that beat the world’s number one ranked team, Belgium, in the quarter-finals. Austria, Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales have all fallen to the Azzurri during this tournament.
The Italians seem to be making up for their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and Mancini has assembled a world-class team that has not lost a game since September 2018 – that’s 33 games unbeaten.
This game will be pragmatism vs. panache, and it will be nail-biting watching these two teams battle it out in front of 60,000 fans.
We’re going to take a look at the history between the two, team news, predictions, and the Euro 2020 final betting odds to get a better idea of which nation will come out on top.
History between the two teams
England and Italy have gone head-to-head 27 times. Of these, England has won 8, drawn eight, and lost 11.
The last two major tournaments where the two teams have come up against each other have both favored Italy. Italy won 2-1 against England in the 2014 World Cup opening game, and they dispatched then-manager Roy Hodgson’s side 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
Arsenal’s tricky, young winger Bukayo Saka has been Gareth Southgate’s only injury concern of late. Jadon Sancho replaced him for England’s thrashing of Ukraine. However, the talented youngster returned to the lineup and provided an assist in the game against Denmark.
Southgate will likely stick to his four-man defense. He’s a man that knows how to make the difficult yet right decisions – as we saw when he hooked fan-favorite Grealish in extra time even though he had only come on in the second half. Putting Trippier on to shore up the defense was tactical rather than injury-driven.
Expected lineup: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane
Spinazzola is, of course, out for the Italians after the Roma full-back underwent surgery for a ruptured Achilles tendon. While the Azzurri undoubtedly miss the defender’s ability to get up the pitch, Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri did well to cover for him against Spain and is likely to get the nod in the starting lineup.
Expected lineup: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
After 55 years of tournament devastation, it must be surreal for England fans to comprehend that their team is through to a major final – but they are.
“Tense,” “gripping,” and “tight” are just some of the words that have been used to describe the penultimate match between two teams riding high on a wave of confidence.
England have scored most of their goals through carefully controlled, practiced routines that the players have undoubtedly used before. Southgate knows how to work a game; he knows when to control, when to be creative, and when the match needs stability to see it out. He is a pragmatic manager.
On the other hand, Mancini’s team has shown some of the most devastating attacks in the tournament. Blistering pace, trickery, and stunning goals have defined their campaign. Mancini is a manager that expects his team to play with panache, and they’ve done exactly that so far.
It’s incredibly hard to call Sunday’s match; it really could go either way. However, England have 55 years of heartache to banish and 60,000 raucous fans urging them on. Ultimately, it should be The Three Lions that finally lift the Euro 2020 trophy on home soil.
England vs. Italy: Betting odds
Here we have the Euro 2020 final betting odds for England vs. Italy:
- England: -120
- Italy: -110
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