Italy vs England Preview

July 9, 2021
By: Harry Kettle

This Sunday, we will finally be graced with new European champions after a five-year Portuguese reign when Italy battle England in the UEFA Euro 2020 final at Wembley. These two nations have been through the wars in the knockout stage with Belgium, Austria, Spain, Ukraine, Germany and Denmark all falling at their feet, with this serving as the final hurdle for both in what has been an incredible month of Euros action.

England are set to feature in their very first European final and their first major tournament showpiece since the 1996 World Cup final. On the flip side, Italy are in the final for the first time since 2012 and will attempt to win their second title after a triumph on home soil in 1968.

With this game taking place at the home of English football, it should come as no surprise that the Three Lions are the narrow favourites with odds of 17/10 via William Hill. Gareth Southgate knows and understands how much pressure there is on the shoulders of his side and yet, even through all of the criticism he’s faced, the boss seems to have handled it as well as a manager possibly could on such a big stage.

The Azzurri has probably been the best team in the tournament thus far based on their overall standard of play as well as the strength of their opposition – but they’re still the slight underdogs here at 19/10 with Betfair. Roberto Mancini has been able to guide this team on an absolutely sensational unbeaten run and coming into the final, they should have an absolutely insane amount of momentum behind them, even with a few tired legs here and there.

There is likely to be a big debate that rages on regarding the first goalscorer because in a fixture that has stakes as high as this one, scoring first tends to set the tone for what’s going to happen. That isn’t always the case but we definitely think it’ll swing the balance of power heavily in one direction, with Harry Kane being listed at 7/2 via Betfred to get his name on the scoresheet first. Ironically, the second most likely goalscorer in their eyes is “nobody” which would, by default, force the hand of a 0-0 draw.

Ciro Immobile is the big goalscoring threat for Italy but they’re so consistent throughout the spine of their squad that we honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see just about anyone score for them – and we’re including Chiellini in that conversation.

Our official prediction here is going to be that 55 years of hurt will come to an end, as England beat Italy 2-1 to win the European Championship for the very first time. We expect the strength in depth of Southgate’s side to play an absolutely integral role in how things play out on Sunday, with fringe players coming into the mix to really give them the burst of energy that’ll get them over the finish line.

Is football coming home? After all this time, we think it may well be.

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