A carnival-like atmosphere is expected in and around the magnificent Wembley Stadium as England and Italy will be battling it out in the final of the Euro 2020 tournament.
Sunday’s final is delicately-poised as Italy are unbeaten in their last 33 matches in all competitions, their longest unbeaten stretch ever.
On their part, England, who are making it to their first-ever Euro final, have won 15 of their last 17 matches
The Three Lions topped Group D with seven points before beating Germany, Ukraine and Denmark in the knockout rounds to advance to the showpiece event at Wembley.
Italy, meanwhile, finished at the top of Group A with nine points before overcoming Austria, Belgium and Spain to book their spot in the Euro 2020 final.
Sunday’s Euro 2020 final will be the 28th meeting between Italy and England in all competitions, with the Azzurri claiming 11 wins compared to eight for the Three Lions.
We wait to see if indeed football’s coming home or the trophy is going to Rome.
Both Italy and England are most likely going to stick with the formations that they used in their semi-final victories over Spain and Denmark respectively.
Roberto Mancini’s Italy settled in a 4-3-3 while Gareth Southgate is likely to stay with his own version of the same system.
The Three Lions have played with a 5-3-2 in some games but there seems little reason for a switch back to that structure for Sunday’s final.
Bukayo Saka justified his return into Southgate’s starting XI as Denmark were beaten 2-1 in the semi-final.
He assisted the equaliser as Simon Kjaer turned the ball into his own net.
Southgate is now tempted to keep faith with the same starting XI for the first time in the tournament
Phil Foden is an injury doubt after he missed England’s final training session on Saturday.
Roberto Mancini is also working with a near fully-fit squad outside of Leonardo Spinazzola who ruptured his Achilles tendon against Belgium.
November 15, 2000 – Italy 1-0 England
March 27, 2002 – England 1-2 Italy
June 24, 2012 – England 0-0 Italy
August 15, 2012 – England 2-1 Italy
June 14, 2014 – England 1-2 Italy
March 31, 2015 – Italy 1-1 England
March 27, 2018 – England 1-1 Italy
Trend to watch
A cagey final may be on the cards as England (2.2) and Italy (2.3) have faced fewer shots on target per game than any other side at EURO 2020.
What the managers are saying
Roberto Mancini, Italy Manager
“We have been working towards this for many years so we are very happy and I can only thank the players for what they have done so far. We have won nothing yet; we will have to win on Sunday to consider it a success.”
Gareth Southgate, England manager:
“We have to seize that moment and give ourselves the best chance of winning. Probably, [at the 2018 World Cup] in Russia, we were feeling a little bit differently about getting to the semi-final and what we really believed was possible, whereas now we know that we’ll still be unfulfilled if we get to Monday and haven’t won the tournament.”
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