Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.
The road to the Euro 2020 final has been quite different for Italy and England. One side flew out of the traps with back-to-back 3-0 wins, while England have taken the standard ‘grow into the tournament’ approach. However, both have impressed on their way to Wembley.
With the two sides set to face off on Sunday, we have you covered from every angle here at FST. We have outright betting tips, a bet builder tip and of course our Euro 2020 final predictions. But, how about something slightly different? Here’s our amalgamation of the two finalists, as we’ve squeezed them into one side.
With Gareth Southgate dropping formations quicker than he dropped the waistcoat, we’ve picked the standard Italian 4-3-3 as our base for this one.
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma
The former AC Milan stopper has been a clam presence for Italy so far and he’s an incredible goalkeeper given his age. This is likely the first of many tournaments that Donnarumma will star in for Italy.
Right-back: Kyle Walker
Di Lorenzo is a good option, but Walker has been fantastic for England on their way to the final. The Man City full-back had a turn at centre-back against Germany and his athleticism has seen him patrol the right-flank brilliantly this summer.
Centre-half: Leonardo Bonucci
It’s hard to argue with the vintage Italian pairing at the back. Bonucci has been as reliable as ever despite time starting to catch up with him. He also converted a penalty in the shootout against Spain, which is a big bonus for a centre-half.
Centre-half: Giorgio Chiellini
Chiellini may not even make next year’s World Cup and he’s been outstanding this summer at the age of 36. He missed half of the group stage but he’s returned in fine form in the quarter-final and semi-final.
Left-back: Luke Shaw
This would have been a really difficult choice, but Spinazzola’s injury gives me an easy out here. The Roma man made a brilliant start, but Shaw’s presence has grown alongside England. He’s played his part in the tournament’s best defence and has plenty of assists to his name.
Central midfield: Nicolo Barella
The Inter Milan man hasn’t quite been the breakout star we thought he might be this summer. Despite that, he’d walk into any side in Europe right now and his goal and two assists at the Euros this summer show his impact for Italy.
Central midfield: Jorginho
The Chelsea man has been outstanding from the opening night against Turkey right through to scoring the winning penalty with an ice-cold finish against Spain. He’s been excellent in possession and he’s excellent at shutting down danger.
Central midfield: Kalvin Phillips
Phillips has shared defensive responsibility with Declan Rice but the Leeds man does more going forward. His assist way back against Croatia showed what he can do, while his fitness and technical skill in possession put him into our three.
Right-wing: Federico Chiesa
The Juventus man scored one of the goals of the tournament, I would argue it was better than Schick’s long-range effort. He has done something few do in successful tournament sides – play his way into the team.
Left-wing: Raheem Sterling
Sterling has contributed three goals and an assist to the England cause this summer and he’s been brilliant for England on the wing. His movement has been excellent and his ability to carry out different roles game to game has helped maintain consistency in selection as Southgate changed up his tactics.
Striker: Harry Kane
Immobile looked to have this in the bag after the group stages. He scored in his two appearances while Kane went three without a goal. Now Kane has four goals and a goal in the final would see him win the golden boot for the second successive tournament.
Euro 2020 Final combined XI
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