After 50 matches and 140 goals, Euro 2020 will witness its final contest between Italy and England at Wembley in London on Sunday night.
Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Centre-backs Bonucci and Chiellini have bagfuls of experience, but will their ageing legs stand up to the swift-moving England forwards? Left-back Emerson and Giovanni di Lorenzo in the right have been steady but will have
to take more responsibility.
Italy’s midfielders — Barella, Jorginho and Verratti — have performed as tirelessly as clock. While ‘Professor’ Jorginho conducts the orchestra, Barella’s box-to-box play leaves oppositions breathless.
Federico Chiesa, if fit, should once again start given his tendency to find goals. The ever-busy Insigne too is a must. There are questions about Immobile’s form, but the Lazio striker’s abilities inside the box is hard to ignore.
Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips; Saka, Mount, Sterling; Kane
Kyle Walker has been brilliant, Maguire has stood tall and Stones and Shaw have done what they were asked to do. Barring the Mikkel Damsgaard
free-kick against Denmark, England have not conceded a goal in this Euro. Need we say more about England’s defensive steel?
Rice and Phillips; hard work, complemented by Bukayo Sako’s fireworks and Mason Mount’s precision, England’s midfield is a complete package. Italy’s midfield marshals have been excellent so far, but England are a different proposition altogether. A very difficult one.
With King Kane in form, the English camp will breathe easy. But it’s Raheem’s sterling show that has provided England the sharpness upfront in this Euro.
Keepers of hope
Penalties faced 40
Penalties saved 14
Penalties faced 42
Penalties saved 9
Roberto Mancini: Italy under Mancini are on a 33-match unbeaten streak
Gareth Southgate: England have lost just two of 28 Wembley home games under Southgate
Do you know?
⚫ No team has ever won two shoot-outs in a single edition of Euro. Italy have already won one, beating Spain 4-2 in the semis. England haven’t been in a shoot-out yet in Euro 2020
⚫ Italy did not qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Thrice in history have teams who sat out a preceding World Cup gone on to win the Euro — Czechoslovakia in 1976, Denmark in 1992 and Greece in 2004
Game of cards
Referee for final: Björn Kuipers (Ned), a 48-year-old supermarket owner from Oldenzaal in the eastern Netherlands, will be officiating in his seventh European competition final. Not only was Kuipers’ father, Jan, also a referee, his wife Marlies’ grandfather, Andries van Leeuwen, was a top match official who was in charge of the 1963 European Cup Winners’ Cup final