Euro 2020 Final: Italy v England Preview

Euro 2020 Final Italy v England Preview

Euro 2020 Final: Italy v England Preview

  Wednesday night at Wembley saw a jubilant England side get over the line after extra-time against a spirited Denmark side. In doing so, they have set-up a “home tie” for the European Championship final against what are sure to be tough opponents, the Italians. This will be the first time England have made the finals or the Euros, with their last competitive final being in the World Cup of 1966 against West Germany in which they won the Cup for the first and only time in their history.

Gareth Southgate has assembled and a new and exciting English side which do not appear to be carrying the ghosts of past failures like so many of the “old England” national teams. The squad average age is one of the youngest in the entire competition, showing both strength in quality and sheer depth.

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Aside from a stuttering 0-0 draw in their second group match against Scotland, England have regularly shown a level of class which hasn’t been seen by them in living recent memory. The other two group games saw largely convincing wins against both Croatia and the Czech Republic. The round of 16 pitted England against a spirited but ultimately weak Ukraine side which Southgate’s men handled with ease in a 4-0 win which quite frankly never saw England get out of 3rd gear. Should they have wanted too, an even heftier score line would have been likely.

With both semi-finals and the final taking place at Wembley, London; England came into the semi-final against Denmark. With the stadiums official ticket sales sitting at 65,000 (2/3 capacity), the England fans helped the team over the line thanks to soft penalty in extra-time, won by Sterling, and dispatched by Kane – at the second attempt.

Italy’s path to the final under the trustworthy guidance of Roberto Mancini. The group stages went as planned with 3 comfortable wins seeing them top Group A with the maximum 9 points. On to the last 16 then and Italy were made to work against a spirited Austrian side who perhaps surprised the Italians. So much so in fact that Italy required extra-time to eventual send a proud Austrian side home & out of the competition.

Tuesday was the date in the diary for the Italian and Spanish class and it did not disappoint. Spain started very slowly in this years competition but were certainly more than a match for the Italians throughout large periods of the game. Unfortunately for the Spanish a lack of cutting edge in the final third again proved costly; with the game ultimately going all the way to a penalty shoot-out in which Italy emerged victorious by 4 pens to 2.

The Final

The final between Italy and England will kick-off at 8PM BST on Sunday the 11th of July with well in excess of 60,000 attending the Wembley stadium.

With so much heartbreak for the England national team over the last 55 years, the England fans and media alike are now coming to terms with the idea of a final with a chance lift the European Championship cup for the first time ever. Southgate will have numerous dilemmas for the game, for example whether to stick with a defensive back 3 line or revert to a 4. Another key decision will be whether Bukayo Saka will be fit to start the final. Should he be unavailable, it seems likely that Jadon Sancho will return to the starting 11. Finally, Southgate will again consider the idea of starting Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish who has been nothing short of superb coming on as in impact sub throughout this tournament. It’s for this reason we feel once again he will likely play a part from the bench on Sunday.

Italy will be without their full-back Spinazzola who was stretched off in their game against Belgium. Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri again appears likely to be the like for like replacement. No other injury nor fitness concerns appear likely for the Italians and whilst England are playing the game on their own turf, Italy are certain to be feeling confident themselves. Historically, the Italians have had the edge over their English counterparts, in fact the last time they were beaten stretches all the way back to August 2012 in a friendly.

Bet365 Best Odds for Italy v England

 Bet365 has the odds for an outright winner in 90 minutes pretty much too close to call. England currently favourites by the finest of margins at 17/10, with Italy available in the same market at 19/10. Home advantage as discussed above may be just enough to get England over the line, but the bookies are clearly stating this could go either way. Other markets are available at Bet365 and our two top picks for a Correct Score bet would be England 1-0 or Italy 1-0 which are currently priced at 6/1 and 7/1 respectively. Both sides are demonstrated excellent defensive qualities in this tournament so predicting a tight game seems like a safe bet.