The final of the Euro 2020 tournament has been decided and England will face Italy at Wembley on Sunday 11 for the holy grail of European football at the international level and this could pass for a Serie A vs Premier League contest.
It can be recalled that Italy breezed past Spain on penalties in a 4:2 win after the match ended 1 all in regulation time.
England also had to wait till extra time to see off Denmark after Harry Kane missed a penalty and converted the rebound to seal a 2:1 win for the Three Lions.
A look at past winners shows that both sides have not been amongst the best of the best with regards to the most triumphs in the competition.
The Italians have won it just once in 1968 whilst England have not won the trophy since its inception.
Meanwhile, the most winners of the Euros are Germany and Spain with 3 respectively with France following behind on 2. The rest of the sides that have won it, have 1 each.
A look at their previous meetings also shows that they’ve met 8 times in competitive games and the Italians are very much ahead with 5 wins to them, 1 win to England, and 2 draws, although one of the draws ended in a penalty shootout win for Italy at Euro 2012.
Therefore, ahead of the final which should be a cracker, Roberto Mancini and his men will be looking to go one better against England and in their number of Euro titles while Gareth Southgate and his men will be looking to avenge the wave of defeats and win the Euros for the first time and make history.
The question now is; Will Euro 2020 come home? The game will be played at Wembley and this should count as a positive for the Three Lions as the venue can easily pass for their home turf.
However, a look at the teams they’ve faced en route to the final suggests that they’ve had it easier than their rivals on paper. The strongest name the Three Lions have faced in the tournament have been Germany, and it can also be recalled that they hadn’t conceded a goal until against Denmark.
Italy, on the other hand, faced the likes of Belgium and Spain and the ability to come out tops against these favorites for the trophy would have strengthened their resolve ahead of the final against England.
It must be noted that this is England’s first appearance in the Euro finals and is also their first final appearance in a tournament since the 1966 World Cup.
This is arguably one of the biggest games for the Three Lions in their footballing history but can they make it count against the resolute Italians?
Both sides have been very resolute in the competition and have also been very tight in defense, although England wins with just 1 goal conceded. In attack, England’s top man Harry Kane has finally come alive and this should be a concern for the Italians.
Regardless, the midfield battle will be where this game will be won and it seems the Italians are better off with more quality and experience.
Both sides have arguably been the best in the competition and deserve their place in the final but will have to prove who deserves the trophy by outwitting each other.
We look forward to this cracker of a game as Roberto Mancini returns to England. Can Gareth Southgate and his men come out tops? This is presently a very difficult question to answer but we’ll get one on July 11 at Wembley.