Euro 2020 FINAL Super Match | Italy vs England: 5 Talking Points Before Kick Off

Southgate on what Euro 2020 final means, and thoughts on Sterling penalty

Gareth Southgate gave his thoughts on what it means to his team and for the country to see England seal their first ever appearance in a final at the European Championship.

Italy vs England: Line-ups



Penalties to be the Difference-maker


Despite boasting just 30% of possession and taking seven shots on goal compared to Spain’s 16, Italy and their 14-game winning run – as well as a 33-game unbeaten run, during which they boast a remarkable goal difference of +76 – prepare for their 10th major tournament final hoping that the third time will be the charm following defeats at the final hurdle in 2000 and 2012.


Nine years on from leading City to their first-ever Premier League title, Mancini is now set to become the second English top-flight winning manager to lead a European country out for a major tournament final. The first? 1966 England luminary Alf Ramsey. But now, there is a new celebrated name in the opposing dugout who has already won the hearts of the nation.


Italy’s jaw-dropping unbeaten run may make the headlines, but England can at least boast 11 wins and one draw from their last 12 games in all competitions, and 15 of the Three Lions’ last 17 encounters at Wembley Stadium have seen them march to victory.


Only a handful of the 1966 heroes are still around to watch the current England crop try to emulate their success, but Southgate’s men – whether Sunday ends in joy or despair – will hope to have inspired the next generation of world-beaters to pick up that football, lace up their boots and follow in the footsteps of Kane and co.


As two heavyweight European forces prepare to collide in front of fans, former players and royalty, nations across the continent will undoubtedly smile back on a tournament like none other following a year like none other, and one can only hope that restrictions, quarantines and behind-closed-doors encounters will be distant memories by Qatar 2022.

DPP Verdict

Both teams have the defence solidity required to shut up shop. Both teams have the attacking guile required to breach the other’s rearguard. There are no two ways about it – this will be a final for the ages. The loss of Spinazzola is undoubtedly huge for Italy, and with the likes of Saka and Sterling testing the old guard’s pace with their runs in behind, we would not put it past England’s attackers to notch up a couple of goals here. However, this encounter may not be settled over the course of 90 or even 120 minutes. No fan from either nation wants the final to be decided by a penalty shootout, but that is the direction to expect Sunday’s battle to head in, and Mancini’s side will hope to rely on their recent experience from 12 yards to prevent football from coming home.