England vs Italy – Euro 2020 Final – Match Preview

Posted on by Matthew T

An enthralling European Championships 2020 tournament reaches its conclusion on Sunday evening with England facing off against Italy at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Kick-off is at 8pm local time. Both teams were viewed as being in and around the outside favourites to lift the trophy before the tournament began but perhaps not many expected them to reach the final, with both in a transitional period. However, there is little doubt that both teams have played fantastically throughout the tournament and deserve their place on the big stage. Perhaps it is a shame that there has to be a loser on the day. A nervy and tight affair is expected and is one that could go either way. The referee for the match will be Bjorn Kuipers, from the Netherlands.

England

England will be looking to end 55 years of hurt in major tournaments on Sunday with this match being their first major tournament final since lifting the World Cup in 1966 – their only major trophy to date – and their first ever European Championships final. After topping their group over Croatia, Czech Republic and Scotland, England have triumphed over Germany, Ukraine and most recently, Denmark in the knockout stages to earn their place in the final. Having conceded their first goal of the tournament last time out and needing extra time to see off Denmark, England will be hoping they can reproduce their best football of the tournament as they did against Germany and Ukraine. Gareth Southgate’s men will in fact have so called ‘home’ advantage with Wembley Stadium playing host to this great occasion.

England team news – No injuries or suspensions to report.

England expected starting line-up (4-3-3) – Jordan Pickford (GK), Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Mason Mount, Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling.

Italy

Unlike England, Italy has plenty of experience in major tournament finals. This will be the four-time world champions’ 10th final overall and 4th in the European Championships, which they went on to win in 1968 but finish runners-up more recently in 2000 and 2012. After flying out of the blocks in the group stage with 3 impressive wins from 3 against Turkey, Switzerland and Wales, the Azzurri have slowed down a little in the knockout stages, with battling wins over Austria and Belgium, and then needing penalties to defeat Spain last time out, in a match where they found themselves on the back foot for long periods. But this is still a team full of quality, confidence and desire and one that is on a remarkable run of 33 matches unbeaten under Roberto Mancini, which stretches back to September 2018. It is a team that is different to the typical Italian sides of the past and one with new faces and a different style, but considering the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Mancini has quickly transformed the Italians into a formidable side to be feared once more.

Italy team news – Leanardo Spinazzola injured (achilles) – OUT

Italy expected starting line-up (4-3-3) – Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK), Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Leanardo Bonucci, Girogio Chiellini, Emerson Palmieri, Nicolo Barella, Jorginho, Marco Veratti, Federico Chiesa, Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne.

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