- Wembley Stadium
- BBC One
- These two sides have each scored in five of six games at this tournament
- Sterling has scored 15 goals in his last 22 England games
Back more goals at Wembley
England’s first major final in 55 years is set to bring a record TV audience in the UK as Gareth Southgate’s men look to win the Henri Delaunay trophy against a resurgent Italy side. As the anticipation builds for this one you’d imagine nerves will grow too, but that doesn’t mean we should expect a dull game as a result.
One of the most impressive aspects of England’s win over Denmark was their attitude. They went for the game from kick-off despite the pressure of the occasion and the 60,000-strong crowd in attendance. The Three Lions kept taking chances and pushing forward, so don’t suddenly expect them to go defensive now.
England have scored eight times across their three knockout matches, but they did concede for the first time in the last round. Italy have been a consistent goalscoring threat at this tournament so we expect Pickford to be beaten once again.
Italy’s last two matches at this tournament have seen both teams score, while before that they beat Austria 2-1 in extra time at Wembley. England have improved going forward since the group stage but the step up in class of the opposition leaves them more vulnerable defensively. Having seen both teams score in each of the two semi-finals, more goals is our first prediction.
A Sterling summer
Raheem Sterling was denied his fourth goal of the tournament against Denmark thanks to Simon Kjaer, who knocked the ball into his own net before the City winger could convert. It’s been a brilliant summer for Sterling, who is showing his importance to this team like never before.
Southgate has made Sterling a key man in this side, as shown by the fact that he played 120 minutes in the semi-final while substitute Jack Grealish was taken off in extra time.
Sterling is a real goal threat for the Three Lions and he comes into this game having had at least two shots on target in three of his last four games at the tournament. Sterling has three goals in six games at the Euros and 15 in his last 22 games for England, so we’re backing him to score in the final.
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Maguire to be cautioned again
Harry Maguire has rarely escaped the attention of referees at this tournament, with the defender getting booked in two of his last three games at the Euros. The defender has been cautioned six times in his last 11 matches and we can see him getting in trouble here.
Referees have been clamping down on aerial battles at this tournament and Maguire is a prime target for that. We’re backing him to be booked, which rounds off our 19/1 Bet Builder treble on this game alongside Sterling to have 2 or more shots on target and both teams to score.
Little between these two
Neither of these two sides have lost at this tournament so far and both are on impressive unbeaten runs. Italy haven’t lost in their last 33 matches, while England haven’t lost in their last 12. Given those runs of form, we don’t expect this clash to be settled within 90 minutes.
Given how close both semi-finals were, we’re backing another 1-1 draw given how tough these two are to beat. Italy have been level after 90 minutes in two of their last three while England have drawn two of their last five, so we’re backing 1-1 as our correct score prediction.
England to shade it in extra time
While we’re backing this one to go to extra time, there’s no need to fear penalties England fans. One thing to note from Italy’s clash with Spain was how the standard of the Italian side dropped off after their substitutions. Meanwhile, England looked strong throughout their 120 minutes against Denmark, changing tactical approach and making key changes.
England’s great balance between attack and defence should see them edge this one over the course of 120 minutes. Given how Italy were clinging on to the game against a Spanish side who never looked particularly good at much throughout this tournament, we’re backing England to win this one in extra time.
An Italian’s view
FST caught up with Italian football journalist Nicky Bandini to get an a view from the other side ahead of the big game on Sunday. Here’s what Nicky had to say:
“Italy were shown by Spain that they do not have a right to dominate possession but they still searched for a second goal after scoring first in that semi-final.
And in the Euro 2020 final, I expect we will see two teams who are going to try and win the game rather than try not to lose it.
Italy don’t match up great against England. Harry Kane is the kind of player Giorgio Chiellini likes to play against but he is less comfortable dealing with players like Raheem Sterling, who could be a danger.
Roberto Mancini will be without one of Italy’s standout performers – Leonardo Spinazzola – for the final and he has been a breakout player at Euro 2020, able to get forward from a back four but still track back. But his replacement Emerson doesn’t have the pace or the same understanding with Lorenzo Insigne.
We will get two teams playing ambitious football at Wembley and I think England will win it.”
Italy predicted lineup
England predicted lineup
Italy vs England team news
Italy are without Leonardo Spinazzola once again, with the left-back among the standout players at Euro 2020. Marco Verratti and Federico Chiesa have worked their way into Roberto Mancini’s side over the course of the tournament and are also expected to retain their positions here.
Gareth Southgate has made frequent changes to his side throughout this tournament but all signs point to him keeping faith with his 4-2-3-1 system and lineup from the last game. That means England will have Jack Grealish, Jadon Sancho and Phil Foden available off the bench.
- England have not lost in ten competitive games
- Three of Italy’s last four games have had under 2.5 goals
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