Italy vs England Betting Tips: Euro 2020 – 11.07.2021
Last updated: July 8, 2021 by Leon Marshal
A spectacle is on the cards as the curtains go down on a fantastic European competition. The vastly experienced Italians are featuring in their fourth European final, and they face debutants England at Wembley Stadium. Will the Italians overpower the Three Lions in their own den, or is it about to come home?
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With both teams in incredible form, the game could easily be decided by a single goal, or even worse, penalties. Italy has been in two of the last three European finals but hasn’t won this competition since 1968. This match is England’s first final of any type since 1966, but they do have home advantage. However, a home team hasn’t won a Euro final since 1984. So it could go either way!
|Last Meeting:||ENG 1 – 1 ITA|
|Competition:||UEFA Euro 2020|
The Azzurri’s took part in the tournament’s curtain-raiser and quickly showed their intent by demolishing a fancied Turkey 3-0. They finished their group with a 100% record after beating Switzerland 3-0 and Wales 1-0. They found life harder in the knock-out stages, Roberto Mancini’s men needing extra time in the 2-1 win against Austria and the 2-1 win against world number one Belgium. They were also forced into extra time in the penalties win over Spain in what you could describe as a typical Italian win, getting through the game despite only having 30% possession.
In comparison, the Three Lions had a smoother route through the knock-out stages. A 2-0 win against Germany, a 4-0 rout over Ukraine before a much more challenging game against Denmark, in which they needed extra time to see off the Danes.
Federico Chiesa has emerged as Italy’s maestro after making a match-winning cameo against Austria. The Juventus star will be key to an Italian coup of the English alongside Lorenzo Insigne, who provides a magical curling shot after cutting in from the left wing. The team’s foundation is the experienced veteran defence that looks like old soldiers called back to duty; Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Ciro Immobile started the tournament impressively but has failed to add to his two goals and one assist, but that isn’t as big as a negative as you would expect. The team functions better as a unit without a star man as Mancini has built a working system that whoever plays knows his role in the team. This fact explains why Italy has five different goalscorers on two goals (Federico Chiesa, Insigne, Manuel Locatelli and Matteo Pessina).
The former Man City manager expertise is the key reason for their thirty-three-game unbeaten run will face their most serious threat on the biggest stage of European football. A side that based its excellence in defending, Italy has lots of flair on the attack and keep attacking even when they go ahead.
Italy will be featuring in their tenth major tournament final (six World Cup, four Euro Championship), with only Germany (fourteen) playing more finals. The Azzurri’s triumphed in the 1968 edition of the competition but lost the two subsequent final appearances (2000 and 2012). The Azzurri’s have scored twelve goals, their joint-highest tally in major tournaments. Their relentless attacking system is a marvel to watch, especially for a side that has built its reputation as one of the most defensive teams in the world.
Just one step to greatness, the Three Lions team has already made history as the first-ever English side to reach the European final. They could all be national heroes if they are the team lifting the trophy after the final. It is tantalisingly close.
In the semi-finals, England faced their toughest challenge of the tournament so far. The Danes were riding a wave of emotion, and after losing their first two games, they appeared to be hitting form at the right time. Scoring eight goals in two games (1-4 Russia & 0-4 Wales) and beating the Czech Republic 2-1.
England started the game well, full of energy and running and Raheem Sterling forced a save out of Kasper Schmeichel in the Denmark goal. Harry Kane also had an early shot, but his long-range effort sailed harmlessly over the bar.
As the game went on, the Danes came into the game, and they took the lead in the 30th minute after a sensational free-kick taken by Mikkel Damsgaard beat Jordan Pickford. Incredibly the goal scored by the Sampdoria youngster was the first scored from a free-kick all tournament.
The lead didn’t last long. Within nine minutes, the Three Lions were level, thanks to an excellent ball by Harry Kane that started the move. The England captain found Bukayo Saka with a through-ball, and the Arsenal youngster crossed a ball for Raheem Sterling. Sterling couldn’t get a touch on the ball, but Sterling’s presence was enough for Simon Kjaer to bundle the ball into his own net.
The own goal would be the last goal of normal time, and the game went into extra time with the scores 1-1. England took the lead thanks to a Harry Kane penalty that the captain scored on his second attempt. Schmeichel saved well from the rather poor effort, but Kane’s fast reactions and cool finish beat the Dane. Despite being the target of some England fans who tried to distract the goalkeeper with a laser pen, Schmeichel had a great game.
It was an incredibly generous penalty to be fair to Denmark. There seemed to be minimal contact between Joakim Maehle and Sterling. However, VAR checked the decision and sided with the referee.
Not that England fans will care that much, having been on the receiving end of poor decisions many times in the past.
As time went on, England controlled the game. The 54 consecutive passes played between the England players were the most passes by any team in the tournament and shows maturity. It is a trait that England will need in the final against a very clever team.
The vast majority of praise has been lavished on Gareth Southgate, and rightly so. England fans are getting used to featuring in the latter stages of competitions, which is an achievement itself. The players seem to love him, and there is a sense of unity that you sense with England. And despite having a nice-guy image, he is not afraid to make controversial decisions, such as substituting Grealish, a substitute himself. He is his own man. He has put his faith into players, and they are prepared to pay him back.
Italy is in a thirty-three game unbeaten run coming into this final.
Lorenzo Pellegrini and Leonardo Spinazzola are out for the Italians. Spinazzola is a big blow for the Italians.
The Three Lions will be playing in their first-ever European final.
England has a near full-strength team with just Dean Henderson unavailable for Gareth Southgate.
|Italy (4-3-2-1):||Donnarumma, Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson, Jorginho, Veratti, Barella, Chiesa, Insigne, Immobile|
|Subs:||Sirigu, Locatelli, Belotti, Berardi, Pessina, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Bastoni, Florenzi, Toloi, Meret|
|England (4-2-3-1):||Pickford, Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw, Rice, Phillips, Mount, Saka, Kane, Sterling|
|Subs:||Johnstone, White, Godfrey, James, Stones, Watkins, Calvert-Lewin, Sancho, Coady, Trippier, Rashford, Henderson, Chilwell|
Conclusion & Betting Tips
This Italian team is not like an Italian team of old. Then, the national team were famously rock solid at the back and would soak up pressure and hit teams with a devastating counter. Roberto Mancini has this team playing like a Premier League team and is just as likely to score plenty of goals as we saw in the 4-0 win against the Czech Republic.
Ironically, almost the opposite is happening to England. Southgate has made England incredibly hard to beat, and the fact that England has only conceded one goal so far is incredible. Stones, Maguire and Shaw at the back have been immense. England also enjoys a great mix of youth and experience in midfield and attack. Rice, Phillips, Saka and Mount have all shone at times, and Kane and Sterling are both in form.
This match is a tough game to call as the Italians will be the best team England have faced by far and are on an unbelievable unbeaten run of matches. That said, man-for-man, we would say the England players are the more talented of the two teams, and with home advantage, we believe that England will win this one. Although we feel they will do it in extra time, our tip would be a 1-1 draw @ 11/2.