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England will take on Italy in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday, their first in 55 years. Gareth Southgate’s side saw off Denmark in Wednesday’s semi-final, beating them 2-1 in extra time.
The goal conceded against the Danes was the Three Lions first of the competition. Jordan Pickford was confirmed as the Euro 2020 Golden Glove winner after Italy’s Gianluigi Donnarumma couldn’t keep out Spain during the two nation’s semi-final clash.
This is England’s best performance in a major tournament since reaching the final of the World Cup in 1966, and we all know how that ended.
Southgate’s men showed fight, hunger and determination to see off Denmark on Wednesday, not allowing the disappointment and hurt of 1996 to affect them. Harry Kane’s 104th minute winner in the first-half of extra-time was enough to see the Three Lions into the final.
Harry Kane celebrates scoring England's winner against Denmark
(Image: Getty Images)
England’s matches prior to this gave the nation all sorts of emotions, from a convincing 4-0 victory over Ukraine in the quarter-final to a 2-0 win over rivals Germany in the Round of 16 – the country was blasting It’s Coming Home!
Attention turns to Sunday’s opponents Italy. The nation is led by former Manchester City and Inter Milan manager, Roberto Mancini – a man who has only lost twice since taking the reigns of his home county in May 2018.
Mancini’s side have impressed on their road to the Euro 2020 final, winning all three of their group stage games, as well as their Round of 16 clash with Austria in extra-time and quarter-final tie with Belgium. There was a slight snag along the way, when they had to beat former champions Spain in a penalty shootout to book their place in Sunday’s final.
Their squad boasts Chelsea ’s Emerson and Jorginho, as well as 22 members playing their trade in the Italian top-flight, Serie A – including legendary centre-back and captain, Giorgio Chiellini.
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Italy are the second highest scoring country in the competition, netting 12 times, this is two more than England who have 10 goals to their name. However, it’s the Three Lions who boast having a higher possession (54.2 percent) overall than their opponents (52.3) – something that could work in their favour on Sunday.
The winner of the Euro 2020 Golden Boot is still up for grabs with Kane needing to find the net twice to win the award. The Three Lion’s number nine is closely followed by Raheem Sterling, who has three goals to his name.
The final could call for Southgate to field a 3-4-3 formation as he did against Germany. However, his use of the 4-2-3-1 system has been used regularly too. If the 50-year-old opts for the latter, then Kane and Sterling will be expected to start, as will the back-four and two holding-midfielders, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips that played in Wednesday’s semi-final.
Sterling has scored three of England's 10 goals at Euro 2020 so far
(Image: Getty Images)
The biggest decision for the Three Lions’ boss is who to start on the right-wing? Will he continue to have Bukayo Saka there, cutting inside? Or new Manchester United star Jadon Sancho is also an option. The 21-year-old can play as a traditional winger down the right.
Another choice is Phil Foden. The Manchester City player boasts significant versatility that allows him to play on either wing, in the number 10 role and in centre-midfield. He, like Saka, can operate on the right-wing, cutting inside and causing trouble on his left foot.
Italy have stayed firm with their 4-3-3 formation, with the likes of Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci and Jorginho starting all six of their matches so far.
How to watch England vs Denmark?
Fans will be able to watch the game on BBC and ITV, with coverage starting from 7pm on BBC and 6:30pm on ITV – kick-off is scheduled for 8pm.
The match will also be available to watch online via BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub.
Italy – 2/1
Draw – 41/20
England – 13/8
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