England take on Italy at Wembley on Sunday night in the Euro 2020 final.
It’s a landmark occasion for the Three Lions, who have reached the final of major competition for the first time since 1966. We all know what happened that year…
A slightly less dramatic encounter would suit England here. Besides from a lacklustre performance when drawing 0-0 with Scotland, they’ve been solid throughout the tournament.
Gareth Southgate has had his critics, especially around his starting XI choices. The fact that England find themselves in the final of Euro 2020 speaks volumes for the validity of those decisions.
There’s no doubt playing the majority of their games has given England a massive boost. It hasn’t been entirely straightforward, though.
Falling behind to Denmark in the semi-final was not part of the plan. However, England regrouped and struck back quickly. From the hour mark onwards, it was all England, and they had plenty of chances to put it to bed in 90 minutes.
In the end, it took an extra-time strike from Harry Kane to see England through. The Spurs striker saw his penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel, but followed up quickly to slot it home.
Italy now stand in the way of Southgate’s men and eternal glory. Roberto Mancini’s men have probably been the most impressive side at the tournament.
Along with England, they’re the only other team who have gone the entire competition without defeat. They’re famous staunch defence has been complimented by their exciting attacking flair.
It’s set up to be a fantastic final under the Wembley arch. Can this young, talented England team make history?
Below, we’ll preview the Euro 2020 final and provide our predictions, the team news, our recommended bets and more…
Italy vs England Predictions
Well, this is final, so absolutely anything can happen. Considering how the tournament has progressed to this point, and given that the final is at Wembley, it seems written in the stars that England will win.
Only a fool would write off the Italians though. If this game were being played anywhere else, Italy would comfortably be favourites.
The way they’ve played at Euro 2020, England have plenty to fear from this Italy side. Federico Chiesa, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile have been a threat in every game they’ve featured.
Premier League fans will be all too familiar with Jorginho. The Chelsea midfielder is Italy’s main man in the middle of the park, much in the way Andrea Pirlo was in their 2006 World Cup win.
As always, everyone will be waiting with bated breath for the starting XI. It will be the biggest indication of Southgate’s plans for the game.
Arguably the biggest chance for the Three Lions is attacking down the wings. Luke Shaw has been one of England’s best players at the tournament. Southgate may opt for Kieran Trippier on the right and hope that they can keep Italy’s fullbacks pinned.
Chelsea defender Emerson is not known for his defensive prowess. He could be the weak link in the Italy side if he is given a start by Mancini.
One thing is for certain, this will not be a straightforward game. The home crowd will do their best to inspire the England team, but Italy will be up for spoiling the party.
This could well go to penalties. England’s record in penalty shootouts isn’t the best, but they’ve already surpassed expectations to get to the final. Who knows, maybe we’ll witness history come Sunday.
Read on for our Italy v England predictions and best bets.
Italy vs England Head to Head
Since 2000, these two nations have met on seven occasions. Back in 2000, Italy won 1-0 in a friendly international. The Italians won another friendly two years later, this time by a 2-1 scoreline.
The two countries didn’t meet again until the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. After playing out a 0-0 for 90 minutes and through the additional 30 minutes of extra time, the tie was decided on penalties.
It was to be Italy’s night on that occasion. They actually progressed all the way to the final, but were demolished 4-0 by an amazing Spain team.
England’s only win over Italy this century came in a friendly two months after that Euro 2012 defeat. Goals from Phil Jagielka and Jermain Defoe secured a 2-1 win for the Three Lions.
The next meeting came at the 2014 World Cup. Having been drawn in the same group for the tournament, the two teams were expected to progress. Italy won their clash with England 2-1, but both nations failed to reach the knockouts.
The final, and most recent, meetings came in 2015 and 2018. Both international friendlies finished with 1-1 draws. Is that what we should expect from Sunday’s game?
Italy Team News – D W D W W
Roberto Mancini has stuck with the same starting XI and formation throughout Euro 2020. It’s highly unlikely he’ll make any changes here, either.
The only position he may consider is left back. Mancini will know that Emerson will be a target for the England forwards and full backs. However, he does offer plenty in attack, and he may get a start with a view to bringing the Chelsea man off later in the game.
Insigne, Immobile and Chiesa will make up the attacking trio. The three forwards have scored six goals between them in the competition so far.
Marco Veratti, Jorginho and Nicolo Barella will sit behind that attacking three in the midfield. This could be a key area that Italy look to compete in this game.
Experienced defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci will partner one another at the heart of the defence. Giovanni Di Lorenzo is expected to start in the right back position.
Our Italy v England predictions expect Emerson to get the nod to start the game at left back. Gianluigi Donnarumma will occupy the goal for the Italians.
England Team News – D W W W D
Since Harry Maguire’s return to the team from injury, Southgate has preferred to use a fluid back four. When Luke Shaw pushes on from left back, Maguire, John Stones and Kyle Walker form a back three.
That fluidity, and the insurance of Walker’s unbelievable speed, has contributed to England’s success this far. All four are expected to start the game ahead of Jordan Pickford between the sticks.
Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips will start together again in the centre of midfield. Their main job will be to keep tabs on Barella and try to prevent Jorginho from dictating the play.
Harry Kane will lead the line for the Three Lions. A brace in this game will tie up the Golden Boot for him. But the big question is who will start in the attacking three behind him?
Raheem Sterling and Mason Mount are shoe-ins for starting places here. Sterling has probably been England’s best player at these championships.
The final place could go to either Bakoyo Saka, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish or Jadon Sancho. It’s an embarrassment of riches for Southgate, and he’s expected to go with Saka from the start.
Italy vs England Betting Tips
If you’re looking to place a bet on the Euro 2020 final, then you’re in luck, as this game is getting the Super Odds treatment.
Italy are the slight outsiders to win the game in 90 minutes. Roberto Mancini’s men are 17/8 to win in our Italy v England match bets.
England are the 7/4 favourites to win the game. That will largely be due to the fact that they have home advantage for this historic final.
If you think the pressure of the occasion will get to both sides and result in a tight game, you may want to back the draw. The traders are offering odds of 2/1 for the game to end all square.
Based on the 90 minute match market alone, we’d be tempted by the 2/1 on offer of the draw. This game will likely be decided in extra time, or via a penalty shootout.