Euro Betting: Italy vs England
Euro 2020 Final | 11 July | London
Euro Final Preview:
And then there were two. Serial finalists and winners Italy sat in wait, and England – a mere 55 years after their last final – got over the line to finally join an elite team at the business end of an international tournament. So, on Sunday it will be the Three Lions vs The Azzurri for the Euro 2020 final. Let’s see what got both teams here.
England: Route to the Euro Final:
Group D –
England 1-0 Croatia (London)
England 0-0 Scotland (London)
Czech Republic 0-1 England (London)
Round of 16 –
England 2-0 Germany (London)
Ukraine 0-4 England (Rome)
England 2-1 Denmark *aet (London)
Italy: Route to the Euro Final:
Group A –
Turkey 0-3 Italy (Rome)
Italy 3-0 Switzerland (Rome)
Italy 1-0 Wales (Rome)
Round of 16 –
Italy 2-1 Austria *aet (London)
Belgium 1-2 Italy (Munich)
Italy 1-1 Spain *aet, Italy win 4-2 on penalties (London)
Italy have probably had the more challenging route to the final, once past group they made light work of, they had to overcome a battling Austria in extra-time of the round of 16. After this, they’ve beaten two opponents of the highest order; first Belgium in the quarter-finals, then Spain on penalties in the semi-final, making Roberto Mancini’s men more than worthy of their status as Euro 2020 finalists.
For England, their path has been about breaking personal records, overcoming past demons, and reaching new milestones. Beating Croatia in their opener was both an act of vengeance against a team who beat them in the semi-finals of Russia 2018, but also England’s first ever win in the opening game of a Euro tournament.
Once they finished top of their group, they then had to face old foes Germany in the round of 16 – beating them 2-0 was England’s first knockout victory over the Germans since 1966. It was also a personal victory for Gareth Southgate after infamously missing a penalty in the Euro 96 semi-final shootout.
They then followed this up with their biggest knockout game victory in the quarter-finals against Ukraine – scoring four goals in the knockout stages of an international tournament for the first time since – once again, you guessed it – 1966.
And then in the semi-final, beating Denmark to make their first ever Euro final, and their first international tournament final since that date we can’t stop mentioning. Until the semi-final, England were also the only team in Euro history to not concede a goal in the first 5 games of a tournament. One more new milestone to go?
Euro Squad News
Southgate appears to have a full and fit England squad to choose from, with seemingly no injuries potentially affecting his choices for the Euro showpiece final. His patterns of selection this tournament have been largely consistent, with only occasional changes to his attacking wide men. The biggest question will be whether he sticks to four a the back or three, like he did against Germany, and has been known to utilise for England in the past.
For Italy – there are no new injuries since their semi-final win over Spain, but they did have a big loss in Leonardo Spinazzola suffering an achilles injury who now misses the tournament. Whilst he has been Italy’s standout player, Chelsea’s Emerson was a more than able deputy against Spain, making impressive and dangerous runs from the fullback position.
10 goals – Harry Kane is now level with Gary Lineker as England’s all-time leading scorer at Euro and World Cup finals tournaments.
1st Euro final – This will be England’s first ever Euro final, and just their second major tournament final ever.
10 finals – The Euro 2020 final will be Italy’s tenth major tournament final appearance.
4 Euro finals – It will be Italy’s fourth Euro final appearance, winning once in 1968 and runners-up in 2000 and 2012.
There has been 27 contests between the national sides, Italy edging it overall with 11 wins to England’s 8. Notably, England have only managed one win in the last seven games against them.
In terms of competitive football, they last met at Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup. Italy narrowly prevailed on both occasions. At the World Cup, the Italians went ahead but England equalised soon after, only for Mario Balotelli to nab the winner in the second half of their group game.
At Euro 2012, the teams played out a tense 0-0 draw until penalties – with Italy winning 4-2, and the inspired Andrea Pirlo scoring an audacious Panenka spot kick in the process. Across both games, Italy dominated and outplayed England, but the margins remained fine. Will it be the same for the Euro 2021 final?
So, will it be Coming Home (at home) for England? Or will Mancini’s men’s unbeaten march carry them to glory?