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Euro 2020: Now Or Never For England

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Italy-England: The final at Wembley promises to be furious, noisy, and exciting between England, with its high ambitions due to the massive presence of its supporters, and Italy, eager to regain its majesty, this Sunday, July 11 in London.

As one of the favorites for the title before the start of the competition and having had the advantage of playing their group matches at home, Italy and England are well on their way to the Euro final.

The two teams have played each other 27 times, with the Azzurri winning 11 times to England’s 8, and drawing eight times. Italy has never lost to England at a major final, with 2-1 victories at the 1990 FIFA World Cup (third-place match) and 2014 (group stage) in addition to their wins at the EURO. Undefeated in 33 games, Italy has no intention of breaking that momentum and is looking to win the second European Cup in its history in London this Sunday.

England is solid, structured, and balanced. They do not take excessive risks, but benefit from the speed of their wingers (Sterling, Saka,…) and the sense of play of their powerful striker Harry Kane to make differences. Sterling was involved in 15 of England’s 37 goals in the qualifying phase, scoring eight goals and providing seven assists himself. He also scored the winning goals against Croatia, the Czech Republic and Germany. Midfielder Phil Foden, however, could miss the final against Italy with a foot injury, England coach Gareth Southgate said Saturday.

Physically fit, spared by the format of the tournament, it seems able to go to the end, even if Italy will be a formidable opponent and the confrontation promises to be quite balanced.

Beaten in 2000 by France and swept away in 2012 by Spain, Italy is trying to regain the trophy 53 years after its only triumph at the EURO. The penalty shootout against Spain ended a 13-game winning streak, but Italy is still on a 33-game unbeaten streak.

The Italian team has not won the European Championship since 1968, the only continental title in its history. The trauma of not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup has finally been salvific for the Azzurri, who have been forced to renew themselves under Roberto Mancini. The coach quickly found a clever mix between old grunts with a vengeance (Chiellini, Bonucci) and a promising new generation (Barella, Locatelli, Chiesa).

Like Roberto Mancini’s team against La Roja, Gareth Southgate’s players qualified beyond regulation time against Denmark. For England, at home, it is a first final in this competition. The Three Lions have not lifted a major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

Statements

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini, Italy Coach 

We have been working towards this for many years, so we’re very happy, and I can only thank the players for what they’ve done so far. We have not won anything yet; we have to win on Sunday to consider this EURO a success. England will have a whole stadium behind them. It will be up to us to put them under pressure. A final is a bit different from other matches, we will have to play with concentration but also with joy because you can only win a final if you go out there and have fun.

Giorgio Chiellini

Giorgio Chiellini, Italy Captain

This EURO has been very emotional, from the first game against Turkey until now. It is a dream we’ve been aiming for for several years, a dream that our coach has slowly put in our minds until it started to come true. He told us to have in mind the idea of winning the EURO. We thought he was crazy, but over the last few years he has created a team that is now on the verge of doing just that.

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate, England Coach

We must be happy that we are in the final, but there is still a big hurdle to overcome. Italy is a very good team, I’ve thought so for two years. They are in an incredible dynamic, have warriors in defense who have known everything. It is a big game that we’re looking forward to.

Harry Kane

Harry Kane, England Captain

England captain Harry Kane said he will be the proudest man at Wembley when he follows in the footsteps of Three Lions legend Bobby Moore by leading Gareth Southgate’s team into Saturday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy.

“The closer the game gets, the more nerves and excitement will kick in. We need to make sure we are on the winning side, and I can’t wait to get there. What an opportunity!”

He added, “We haven’t won anything, but you have to take advantage of nights like this. You always feel like we have one more game to play.

“We’ve been very resilient, with every player giving credit to each other and the staff, and we’re looking forward to a final on our home court.”

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