Euro 2020 Final: Italy v England full preview and tips

And then we were down to two. After four weeks of enthralling action, the Euro 2020 final will take place on Sunday at Wembley. Dutchman Bjorn Kuipers will be officiating the final, and he will have a task on his hands trying to control what could be a feisty encounter between Italy and England. Read on for our full preview, including tips.

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Italy v England Betting tips – Will football be coming home for Gareth Southgate’s men?

After what has been a turbulent 16 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, England put a huge smile on the faces of fans, as they booked their place in the final. Denmark were more robust and obdurate opponents than Ukraine in the quarter-finals, as England required extra time to win through to their first major final in 55 years.

It was a nerve-jangling affair as England had to come from behind after Mikkel Damsgaard fired the Danes ahead with a stunning free-kick on the half-hour mark. But an own goal from Simon Kjaer, and then a Kane goal in extra-time, has left England with a golden opportunity to finally get their hands on a trophy. England has been constantly talked up in the Euro football betting tips, and although it took time for them to settle into the tournament, they are hitting their peak at just the right time.

England must go beyond the call of duty once again in the final, but Gareth Southgate’s men have purged any demons they previously had. There is an unshakeable belief in the squad, England has the firepower to see off Italy. Currently, England are trading at 8/5 to beat Italy in the final. While there are three teams that have won the Euro final as host nations, Southgate will also need to be wary that Portugal (2004) and France (2016) were toppled on home soil.

A special mention surely has to go to Roberto Mancini. After breezing through the group stages where they enjoyed swashbuckling 3-0 wins against Turkey and Switzerland respectively, Italy has had to revert to type since the Round of 16. Nevertheless, Mancini has moulded his side into one that is fearless on and off the ball. Italy has arguably been more defensive in the knockout stages, but they have shown a killer instinct whenever the opportunity has presented itself.

Mancini’s side is now unbeaten in 33 matches, and the Azzurri richly deserve their place in the final. Although nerves were frayed at times in the semi-final against Spain, Jorginho was ice cool when he slotted home the winning spot-kick.

Italy boasts plenty of attacking weapons. But in Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, who have a combined age of 70, Italy have two defensive warriors that can snuff out any danger. The Azzurri, who reached the final of the Euros in 2012, were completely outplayed by Spain in Kiev. On that night, they were hammered 4-0, but against England, Italy will have a different mindset.

In terms of the head-to-head, Italy have won 11 of the 27 clashes, with England prevailing on eight occasions. More significantly, Italy have yet to taste defeat to the Three Lions at a major finals. As things stand, Italy are 39/20 to come out on top against England, and Ciro Immobile is backed at 29/10 to score at anytime for Italy. And Italy will relish the role of playing party pooper, and bursting England’s bubble.

Who will win the Golden Boot?

The Golden Boot award always sparks debate. As things stand, Cristiano Ronaldo is still heading the Euro 2020 top scorer odds, as he has rattled home five goals in the tournament. Kane currently has four, but could he grab a double to pip the Portugal legend to the prize? All will be revealed on Sunday.

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It seems strange to be writing a preview of a major international final with England as one of the teams gunning for glory. But Gareth Southgate’s team have produced the goods to make it all the way to the showpiece match at Wembley. Standing in their way are Italy, who have been one of the teams of the tournament, and will certainly take some stopping.

As we hit fever pitch in the build-up to the final, let’s take a look at both teams’ paths to the final, and assess how things might pan out when they take to the field on Sunday night.

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Italy at their brilliant best

To understand just how good this Italy team has been, you only need to look at their performances in the group stage. In the opening game of the tournament at the Stadio Olimpico, Italy were simply breathtaking in beating Turkey 3-0. They followed that up with a win by the same scoreline against Switzerland, and a 1-0 victory over Wales in their final group game sealed a comfortable passage to the last 16.

Italy have been made to work hard in the knockout stages, but in many ways that makes their progress to the final all the more impressive. They required extra time to eventually beat Austria 2-1, and their prize was a hugely difficult tie with Belgium, which produced one of the matches of the tournament as Italy triumphed, 2-1 again. The semi-finals saw them take on Spain, and after defending resolutely for large periods to earn a 1-1 draw after extra time, Italy held their nerve in the penalty shootout to advance to the Wembley showpiece.

Calm and steady England

England were not quite as rip-roaring in the group stage as Italy, but they got the job done. There was an early sign that this team was made of stern stuff when they beat Croatia 1-0 in their opening match, avenging the World Cup semi-final defeat in Moscow three years ago. From there, a disappointing 0-0 draw with Scotland was followed by a professional, if uninspiring, 1-0 win over the Czech Republic.

As it should be, England have saved their best for the knockout rounds. They beat Germany 2-0 in the last 16, in a match that will live long in the memory of all those who were present at Wembley. A commanding 4-0 win over Ukraine followed, and while they rode their luck at times in the semi-final against Denmark, you can’t deny that they deserved their 2-1 victory.

A clash of heavyweights

It may seem obvious, but there is little doubt that Italy and England are the best two teams at this tournament. Both have been hugely convincing — Italy in the way they have handled matches against top teams like Belgium and Spain, and England in their dispatching of weaker sides such as Ukraine and Denmark.

It’s hard to predict how the final will pan out. It’s likely to be a cagey affair, with Italy dominating possession, and much will hinge on whether the likes of Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane can create openings against the might of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Italy will present plenty of problems for England going forward, and it will be up to Southgate to ensure that his team is steeled for the prospect of taking on tricky wingers Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Chiesa.

The midfield battle will be intriguing, and one wonders if Southgate will opt to bring in Jordan Henderson, or stick with the tried and trusted, if less experienced, partnership of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips. Marco Verratti, Nicolò Barella and Jorginho are a formidable trio, but Southgate will have faith in his midfielders to cope with the challenge.

It’s going to be a tight game, and whoever handles the sense of occasion the best is most likely to come out on top. Indeed, it would be no surprise to see the final go all the way to a penalty shootout, which would be the true test of England’s nerve.

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Euro 2020 semi-finals: Italy v Spain preview and betting tips

After an enthralling few weeks, the semi-finals of Euro 2020 beckon. Perhaps the more glamorous of the two ties will be Italy v Spain, which will be staged at Wembley. This has been a storied encounter down the years. There is nothing these two European heavyweights don’t already know about each other.

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Another fascinating chapter will be woven into this rivalry, and we can’t wait to see how things will unfold. So, sit back, and let us chew the fat heading into these last four meetings.

Italy v Spain Betting tips — Luis Enrique’s enigmatic Spain in touching distance of the final

Spain

So far, Spain has been something of an enigma at Euro 2020. Although they registered back-to-back victories against Slovakia and Croatia, scoring five times on each occasion, this has been in stark contrast to their other struggles. Luis Enrique’s men have sometimes flattered to deceive. While they will usually dominate possession, they are a far cry from their absolute glory days. Back then they blitzed teams with their dizzying brand of tiki-taka football.

While Spain will always be mentioned in the Euro 2020 betting tips, they haven’t found things to be plain sailing during the tournament. Inevitably, it takes some teams longer to find their groove. However, things started in an inauspicious fashion when they drew their opening two group games against Sweden and Poland.

One defining feature of Enrique’s side to date has been their inability at times to take their chances. During Euro 2020, Spain has had a tournament-high 39 shots on target. In addition, they have managed to score 12 goals – another tournament high. They have been tested at every turn, and they were taken to a penalty shoot-out by Switzerland in the last eight. However, goalkeeper Unai Simon was the hero as he kept out spot-kicks from Fabian Schar and Manuel Akanji.

Alvaro Morata has come under fire at times during the tournament, but he has appeared more comfortable of late and has slowly started to repay the faith shown in him by Enrique. As things currently stand, Spain are the slight underdogs going into the semi-final against Italy. They are trading at 21/10 to reach the Euro 2020 final.

Italy

If we switch our attention to Italy, then we will find a side that has been firing on all cylinders. Roberto Mancini’s men have worn the cloak of invincibility, and they have now won their last 15 European matches, including their qualifiers, which is a European record.

The way they surged through the group stages was impressive, and against Belgium, the Azzurri overwhelmed them with their intricate style of play. They have been sharp, and incisive, and Lorenzo Insigne has carried the greatest attacking threat to date.

While Italy was put to the sword in the final of Euro 2012 against Spain when they lost 4-0, they will have fond memories of their 2-0 Round of 16 victories five years ago. Ultimately, there will be key battles all over the pitch. And how Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini stand up to the likes of Morata and Gerard Moreno, will determine whether Italy will win through to the final on Sunday.

Now unbeaten in 32 matches, Italy’s confidence will be sky-high going into their semi-final clash with Spain. Mancini’s men know how to turn on the style and, currently, they are 29/20 to book their place in the showpiece final.

Who will walk away with the Golden Boot?

Away from the team dynamic of the tournament, the Golden Boot race is intensifying. Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrik Schick lead the way will five goals apiece, but who will defy the Euro 2020 golden boot odds, and carry home the individual accolade? This question will be answered over the coming days.

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Confirmed: football’s coming home. That’s right, with the remainder of Euro 2020 (semi-finals and final) being held at Wembley Stadium in London, football is returning to its place of birth — England winning on home soil would just be an added bonus!

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However, before we get excited about Sunday’s final, we must first turn our attention to the semi-finals, where Spain and Italy will meet on Tuesday night in what looks set to be the tie of the round, before England clash with the surprising member of the last four, Denmark, on Wednesday night.

Given that Euro 2020 has lived up to its expectations thus far, with a record number of goals, shock knockouts and tons of drama, there is a lot of expectations ahead of the semi-finals, and there’s no doubt that there will be another twist in the tale or two before the tournament is out.

So, without further ado, read on as we take a look at the two semi-final clashes and asses the chances of the four teams involved…

Italy vs Spain – 6th July, Wembley

This mouth-watering encounter is one we have become somewhat accustomed to at the European Championships, and it rarely disappoints. For the fourth Euros in a row, Spain and Italy will go head-to-head. The Azzurri took the bragging rights at Euro 2016, where they knocked La Roja out in the last 16 with a 2-0 victory at the Stade de France in Paris, and you would expect the Italians to win again this time.

It’s hard to forget that 4-0 thrashing inflicted on Italy by the Spanish in the final of Euro 2012. However, it’s fair to say that Luis Enrique’s current crop are a shadow of that Vincent del Bosque tiki-taka powerhouse, and with Roberto Mancini’s Italy unbeaten in over 30 games, the Azzurri will be out to book their place in the final.

After winning all three of their group games without conceding a goal, Italy’s toughest task of this tournament so far was in the quarter-finals, where they faced Roberto Martinez’ Belgium, who are No.1 in the FIFA World Rankings. However, goals from the in-form Nicolò Barella and Lorenzo Insigne gave Italy a two-goal cushion, and despite Romelu Lukaku firing home from the spot, Italy were able to see the game out in the second half and secure their place in the last 16.

Spain, on the other hand, have mostly left a lot to be desired in this tournament, and given their, at times, lacklustre performances, their place in the semi-finals could be considered a shock. Enrique’s men drew their opening two matches with Sweden and Poland before finally finding their rhythm in a 5-0 win over Slovakia. They put five more goals past Croatia in a 5-3 win after extra-time to secure their place in the quarter-finals, where they faced Switzerland.

Having knocked out France, the Swiss were never going to be a walk in the park for Spain. But La Roja looked like a deer in highlights going forward once again, with a deflected Jordi Alba effort from long-range needed to break the deadlock, while at the back, there was a mix-up between Aymeric Laporte and Pau Torres for Switzerland’s goal.

Given how defensively sound Italy have been, and the ruthlessness they have shown in attack, there should only be one winner of this game!

England vs Denmark – 7th July, Wembley

When England knocked Germany out in the last 16 with a 2-0 victory at Wembley, pundits and fans alike were quick to point out Gareth Southgate’s favourable run to the final, and after breezing past Ukraine with a comfortable 4-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, confidence will be at an almighty high within the England fold.

With performances on a different level to their mediocre-at-best outings in the group stage, where they beat Croatia and the Czech Republic 1-0 either side of a bore draw with Scotland, alongside the fact that the match is taking part in front of a 60,000-strong crowd at Wembley, it’s no surprise that England are the heavy favourites to win this tie.

However, Denmark cannot be discounted that easily. Yes, with victories over Wales and the Czech Republic in the knockout stages, England will be their toughest task thus far. But, Kasper Hjulmand’s side can take confidence from their recent Nations League results against Southgate’s side, drawing 0-0 in Copenhagen before winning 1-0 at Wembley.

What the Danes do need to be wary of is a red-hot Harry Kane. After failing to find the net in the groups, the Tottenham Hotspur striker has three goals in his last two games, and he is notoriously difficult to stop when on such form.

The same can be said about Kasper Dolberg. England are yet to concede at the Euros, but like Kane, the Nice forward boasts three goals in the knockout stages and he will be making sure that Harry Maguire and John Stones are on their toes on Wednesday night.

Whilst it certainly won’t be another 4-0 victory for England, the Three Lions should prove too strong for Denmark.

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Euro 2020 Quarter-Final Preview: Ukraine v England

Euro 2020 has provided moments of sheer drama, and it has made for compelling viewing. You can’t take anything for granted, and in the quarter-finals on Saturday evening, we will see Ukraine pit their wits against England, while Denmark lock horns with the Czech Republic. Read our preview to see how we think these two ties might unravel.

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Ukraine v England Betting Tips — Gareth Southgate’s men on high after ending Germany hoodoo

For too long, Germany has been a roadblock to England’s chances of success at a major tournament. But for Gareth Southgate, who was part of the Euro 96 side that lost to Germany in the semi-finals, it was the ultimate redemption, as his side ran out 2-0 winners. Raheem Sterling, who has been England’s talisman during the tournament, provided the Three Lions with the breakthrough before Harry Kane got off the mark at Euro 2020 with a stooping header to seal a memorable win.

The victory caused scenes of wild celebrations in Wembley, as more than 40,000 England fans packed into the ground to witness the historic moment. While Sterling and Kane will take the plaudits, England is still yet to concede a goal, and they were well marshalled by Harry Maguire. Indeed, the last time England kept a clean sheet in their first four matches was at the 1966 World Cup, and we all know what happened there!

England was widely fancied in the Euro betting tips before the start of the tournament. They are currently trading at 2/5 to shine in Rome this weekend to punch their ticket to the semi-finals.

Ukraine, meanwhile, is steely, and they have emerged as one of the surprise packages of Euro 2020. After creeping through the group stages, Andriy Shevchenko’s charges cemented a quarter-final berth by edging out Sweden 2-1 after taking the game to extra time at Hampden Park earlier this week.

Oleksandr Zinchenko — who became Ukraine’s youngest ever goalscorer at the Euros — gave Ukraine the lead with a powerful drive before Emil Forsberg levelled things up for Sweden with a deflected effort. However, Artem Dovbyk had the final say with a late header to set up an intriguing showdown with England. But Ukraine is a distant 9/1 to pull off an upset.

Czech Republic v Denmark Betting Tips — Patrik Schick could take some stopping

When it came to the Euros golden boot odds, Patrik Schick wouldn’t have ranked highly. But Schick has been firing on all cylinders, and he has hit a real purple patch at Euro 2020. His strike against the Netherlands took his tally to four for the one tournament, and he is now the active top-scorer.

Jaroslav Silhavy has his men perfectly fine-tuned, and while the 2-0 win over the Netherlands in the Round of 16, may have raised more than a few eyebrows, it was no fluke. They didn’t let the Netherlands have a single shot on target, and they were rewarded for their strong work ethic. As things stand, the Czech Republic, which reached the final at Euro 96, is at 3/1 to book their place in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Denmark has enjoyed a fairytale tournament. Although they experienced adversity at the beginning of Euro 2020 when Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch, the 1992 winners have been in fabulous form of late. They became the first team in Euros history to score four goals or more in two matches in a row.

The Round of 16 victory over Wales was a point in the proof. From the very first whistle, the Danes were hungry, and they were unrelenting in the pressure they exerted. Kasper Dolberg and Mikel Damsgaard have been the aces in the pack, and they will need to come to the fore if they are going to win through to the semi-finals. Denmark are currently valued at 21/20 to beat the Czech Republic inside 90 minutes.

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