Italy (ITA) meets England (ENG) in what could be an enthralling final at Wembley Stadium. The Azzurri will be keen to end a 53-year wait, while England is making a maiden appearance in the final of the European Championships. Lorenzo Insigne converted a late penalty to cancel out Jamie Vardy’s first-half strike in the last meeting between both sides in an international friendly in 2018.
The Three Lions will be pinning their hopes on their backline, which has kept five clean sheets in the tournament. John Stones and Harry Maguire haven’t put a foot wrong and received massive support from Kyle Walker, Luke Shaw, Declan Rice, and Kalvin Phillips. Goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, too, has been excellent so far.
Raheem Sterling has set the stage fire in Euro 2020. He has struck three crucial goals, grabbed an assist, and played a massive role in both the goals against Denmark. Meanwhile, Harry Kane, who found his scoring boots in the knockout phase, has scored four goals in the last three games and will be keen to register his name in the goalscorers list against Italy. Mason Mount and Bukayo Saka pose a big threat to the Italian backline as the duo has used their pace to unsettle the opponents’ backline.
Italy has created the second-most shots on goals with 108 attempts from six games and has scored in all six games in the tournament. Lorenzo Insigne, Ciro Immobile, and Federico Chiesa can convert chances into goals in a quick fashion. The Marco Verratti-led midfield will be keen to bounce back after being outplayed against Spain in the semi-finals. Nicolo Barella, who scored against Belgium, and pass-master Jorginho add to Italy’s strength in the midfield.
England forwards will face a daunting task against an Italy backline, which conceded just three goals from their 11 matches in 2021. Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci have been brilliant, especially against free-flowing teams like Belgium and Spain. Italy custodian Gianluigi Donnarumma, too, has been at the top of his game. He has made a few fine saves in the last two matches.
Played: 27 ITA won: 10 ENG won: 8 Drawn: 9
Top Five Fantasy Points scorers (Semi-finals)
ITA: F Chiesa (12.5 pts), Emerson (8 pts), G Chiellini (5 pts), M Verratti (5 pts), G Donnarumma (5 pts)
ENG: H Kane (10.5 pts), K Phillips (6.5 pts), L Shaw (6.5 pts), H Maguire (6 pts), J Stones (5.5 pts)
Euro 2020 Stats
Top Goalscorer: ITA – L Insigne, C Immobile, M Pessina, M Locatelli, F Chiesa (2 goals); ENG – H Kane (4 goals)
Most Assists: ITA – M Verratti, D Berardi, L Spinazzola (2 assists); ENG – L Shaw (3 assists)
Most Passes Completed: ITA – Jorginho (399 passes); ENG – J Stones (406 passes)
Shots Saved: ITA – G Donnarumma (9 saves); ENG – J Pickford (11 saves)
ITA: L Spinazzola (injured)
ITA (possible): G Donnarumma; G Di Lorenzo, L Bonucci, G Chiellini, Emerson; N Barella, Jorginho, M Verratti; F Chiesa, C Immobile, L Insigne
ENG (possible): J Pickford; K Walker, J Stones, H Maguire, L Shaw; D Rice, K Phillips, M Mount; B Saka, H Kane, R Sterling
Parameswaran Sankaranarayan is a sports enthusiast who has worked in print, website, and other digital platforms. He was part of the editorial team of first-ever Indian football-based website - IndianFootball.com (now defunct) - and passionately follows the latest happenings in world football. During his time as a journalist, he had the opportunity to interact with some of the iconic personalities in Indian sports and witness some memorable moments in Indian football.
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