Italy vs England is the final match of Euro2020 and takes place on Sunday July 11 at Wembley in London. The European Championship final features two of the strongest teams in the tournament and should be a fitting finale to what has been a great tournament. Italy booked their place in the final after beating Spain on penalties while England overcame Denmark in extra time on Wednesday. Read on for more analysis, match predictions and betting tips.
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Italy are probably the most in-form team in Europe at present. Unbeaten since September 2018, Mancini’s team have not lost in their last 33 games, with the Spain game ending a sequence of 13 consecutive wins stretching back to October 2020. The Azzurri won their group convincingly but have needed extra time to get through two of the three knockout rounds. Their 12 goals in this tournament have been shared around their team, with five players having scored twice for Italy in Euro2020.
This is Italy’s fourth European Championship final; however they have only won it once in 1968; losing to France in 2000 and Spain in 2012. Interestingly, the year Italy won it all the tournament was played in Italy and they reached the final on the toss of a coin; in both 2000 and 2012 the tournament was played in more than one country.
England were pre-tournament favourites to win the European Championship but have faced criticism in some quarters due to the number of home games the team has had and the quality of some of the teams England have faced. Even the win over Denmark has some fans upset due to the softness of the penalty which led to the winning goal. Yet despite all of that saltiness there has to be some credit given to the England team for how well they have played in this tournament. England have not lost since November last year and have won 11 of their last 12 games; only one of which have gone into extra time. The England front line of Kane and Sterling have scored seven of the ten goals England have scored in this tournament and will need to be marshalled carefully.
This is England’s first European Championship final, and their first major international tournament final since they won the World Cup in 1966. England won that tournament at Wembley stadium; can they recreate history here?
Leonardo Spinazzola remains the only Italian player out with injury having been stretchered off in the quarter-final win over Belgium. He was replaced by Chelsea’s Emerson, who defied his recent lack of game time to produce a good performance in the semi-final. While skipper Giorgio Chiellini was struggling with injury earlier in the tournament the Juventus defender has come back strongly and his force of character was a factor in Spain’s penalties defeat on Tuesday. PSG midfielder Marco Verratti has also fully recovered from injury and played 73 minutes against Spain on Tuesday night.
England have a clean bill of health coming into the final with Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka overcoming injury to start against Denmark. There will be questions over who England plays in forward areas with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden all competing for a start for England. On Wednesday Saka and Mason Mount were preferred but it might be that Southgate has other ideas considering the way Italy set up. While both Bonucci and Chiellini are enormously experienced, their age might persuade Southgate to go with youth and pace.
England are favourites to win the final in 90 minutes, although the odds offered by the bookies of 2.70 demonstrate that the bookmakers do not believe home advantage will mean all that much. The idea of a tough, tight match is given credence by the odds for under 2.5 goals (1.45) and BTTS: No (1.67). As a proud England fan it’s difficult for me to go against my team but I do not believe England have enough about them to beat Italy in 90 minutes and so my betting tips for the final would be to back the draw at 3.00. Like the Denmark game, I think if England get ahead in extra time they’ll do it but having suffered heartache before I’m also sure if it goes to penalties Italy will be victorious.