Is it coming home? The ‘2020’ EUROS Final will be played early on Monday morning between England and Italy from Wembley Stadium and the Sunday League Shark is back to take a look at the big game and give his betting tips for the clash below!
Wembley Stadium, Monday 12th July, 5.00am (AEST)
Both Italy and England have been the standout teams in the competition so far, so it seems only fitting that they square off in the championship game on Monday morning.
England have been desperate for a major piece of silverware for over half a century now, with their one and only World Cup win coming all the way back in 1966. This is the first time they have reached the final of the EUROS, and a win here would be a fantastic building block into what will hopefully be a promising world cup campaign in 2022.
On the contrary, the Italians are no strangers to success on the international stage. They are four-time World Cup Champions, the most recent of which coming in 2006 while they have one EUROS Trophy from 1968 and made the final in both 2000 and 2012.
Possible Starting Line-ups
England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane
England manager Gareth Southgate has made at least one change to his starting line-up in every game so far this campaign, but I think this is the game where he sticks fat with the line-up that got the job done in the semi-final against Denmark last week. The main question mark for me revolves around the right-wing position of Jadon Sancho vs Bukayo Saka. Whichever way Southgate decides to go, this English team will be capable of winning.
Italy: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
The Italian side has been much more settled, starting the same XI in both the quarter-final against Belgum and the semi-final against Spain, the same one that I expect Roberto Mancini to go with for the final. The defensive four is rock solid and the front three of Isigne, Immobile and Chiesa have been firing on all cylinders throughout the tournament so far.
When two of the top nations in the world meet in a final of a major tournament, it’s a 50-50 at the best of times. These two teams are evenly matched and both possess really solid defences. Weve also seen a really defensive style of football played throughout the tournament and particularly the knockout phases in this tournament. Of the 14 games in the knockout stage so far, 7 of them have gone to extra time, the majority of them after 1-1 draws.
Six of the 15 European Championship Finals have been to extra time, including the last edition between Portugal and France back in 2016, won by the Portugese. I’m finding it impossible to split these two teams, and as they will both probably come out with a pretty defensive mindset, I think the low scoring draw is real value.
If I had to lean one way or another, how coudl you look past the fairytale story that is England. The talented core of players have been craving this opportunity for the better part of a decade now and they finally get their chance. There is good value for them to lift the cup, which I think paired with the under on total goals and the over on total corners mixes well together. There has been an an average of 8.33 corners in the six games involving Italy and England in the knockout stages, while four of the six games have had under 2.5 total goals scored at the end of regulation time.
ENG to lift cup
Under 2.5 Goals
Over 7 Corners
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