Italy -vs- England
The last match for the tournament. Italy and England aim for their long-waiting trophy. As Italy has waited 53 years since last time they lifted up Delauney Trophy.
With the wise old heads in defense, an irrepressible trio of talent in midfield and a fear-inducing attacking triden. Italy may have gone under the radar slightly before the first ball was kicked at Euro 2020. But the continental dominance has been there for all to see since 2018.
The Italians may just be 90 minutes away from ending that agonizing 53-year wait for continental silverware, as after sweeping aside Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in the group stage without shipping a single goal, Mancini’s men did the business in three grueling knockout encounters.
Even though Austria broke the unfathomable defensive resilience in the last-16 stage, Italy pulled through by two goals to one before dumping out the world’s number-one ranked nation in Belgium by the same score line to set up a Wembley outing with Luis Enrique’s Spain side in the final four.
In the semi-final, although Italy boasting just 30% of possession and taking seven shots on goal compared to Spain’s 16, they still defeated Spain in penalty kick, enhance their unbeaten run to 33 games.
Fans may be wondering whether bowing out at Euro 2016 to minnows Iceland was simply just a bad dream, as under Southgate’s tutelage, England may not have dazzled and delighted on the attacking front, but his often impenetrable rearguard navigated five European Championship games without conceding a goal.
However, The Danes broke the hope of making history with a sixth clean sheet, Mikkel Damsgaard’s unstoppable free kick silenced the England contingent while those in red made their presence known.
Both team hold the score line of 1-1, and drag into extra time. England’s forward Sterling controversially went down in the area and Kane tapped home at the second attempt after seeing a surprisingly tame spot kick saved.
Italy’s jaw-dropping unbeaten run may make the headlines, but England can at least boast 11 wins and one draw from their last 12 games in all competitions, and 15 of the Three Lions’ last 17 encounters at Wembley Stadium have seen them march to victory.
For Italy, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci – at a combined age of 70 – will shield talented goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Marco Verratti’s return to fitness has forced Locatelli to take a back seat as the silky PSG man links up with Jorginho and Nicolo Barella in the engine room.
I believe Mancini will keep his faith in the attacking trio of Chiesa, Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne.
The Three Lions coach has largely settled on his strongest XI despite his penchant for tweaking formation, and the only uncertainty for the rearguard would be whether Kyle Walker moves in centrally in a three or continues out on the right-hand side in a four.
In the midfield, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips are set to resume their midfield partnership.
Kane is after a slice of his own personal history here, as a goal in the final would see him overtake Gary Lineker as England’s most prolific goal scorer in major tournaments, while he is only three away from breaking into the top five of the Three Lions’ all-time scoring charts.
Both teams have the defense solidity required to shut up shop. Both teams have the attacking guile required to breach the other’s rearguard. There are no two ways about it – this will be a final for the ages.
No fan from either nation wants the final to be decided by a penalty shootout, but that is the direction that I think battle to head in, and England could lift up the trophy for the 1st time in the history to bring the football home in the Extra time!
The final result for Italy -vs- England will be Full Time 2-2 in 90 minutes ?
Italy -vs- England which team will be the Champion ?
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