Just two teams remain in the European Championships. Italy and England will battle it out for the prestigious prize of being named Europe’s best on Sunday at Wembley. But, which nation should be the soccer pick made by bettors?
Italy vs England
It will be a special night at Wembley on Sunday, as England look to win their first major honour since 1966. However, Italy will be keen to crash the party against the Three Lions, as Roberto Mancini looks to continue their progress since he took the job.
There will be no shortage of English support at Wembley on Sunday, with the event set to be the first to have full capacity in over a year. The Three Lions endured a nervy evening in the semi-finals, as they were taken to extra time by Denmark. However, England were able to get over the line after Harry Kane scored off a rebound following a missed penalty. Pandemonium ensued with the crowd in a frenzy. Gareth Southgate has used his squad excellently throughout the tournament, as he has confidently played the right players at the right time. The final will be another huge occasion, but there is no denying that Southgate will have the confidence in the players that he selects.
Italy have enjoyed an excellent renaissance under Robert Mancini. The Italians missed out on the World Cup three years ago, but have shown throughout this tournament that they are back. Italy started the EUROs in excellent form, winning both of their opening games 3-0. However, they have shown more character in their most recent games, as they have overcome nervy tests against Belgium and Spain. They needed a penalty shootout in their semi against Spain, after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in normal time. However, the strong defensive backbone that Italy have has been evident throughout the tournament.
England and Italy haven’t met in an international fixture since 2018. The last two meetings have ended in draws, while Italy won the last meeting at a major tournament, as they won 2-1 at the 2014 World Cup. Italy have also won four of the previous five matches against England at a major tournament. However, this is a unique meeting, as it will be the first time that they have played in the final.
The first goal on Sunday will be crucial in determining the side that will win the match. Whoever scores the first goal will win the match, but we expect a strong start by England and that could lead to an opener. Italy will then need to chase the game, which will lead to opportunities on the counter for England. Could it be coming home? We expect so on Sunday.