Euro 2020 final prediction: Football not coming home as Italy spoil England party

European Championship final takes place at Wembley on Sunday

We're down to the final two teams of Euro 2020 following two dramatic semi-finals.

Italy clinched their place in Sunday's showpiece with a 4-2 shoot-out victory over Spain while England beat Denmark 2-1 in extra time to punch their ticket to Wembley.

Here's the lowdown.

Euro 2020 final

Italy v England, Sunday, July 11, 8pm BST (11pm UAE)

After 55 years of hurt England finally reached a major final after seeing off a spirited Denmark in Wednesday's semi-final.

England conceded for the first time at the tournament as they fell behind to a Mikkel Damsgaard free-kick but showed their resolve to claw their way back into the match.

Kasper Schmeichel was forced to make several fine saves but was powerless to prevent Simon Kjaer's own goal and was unfortunate to see his save from Harry Kane's extra-time penalty rebound to the England captain who made no mistake second time around.

England were asked plenty of questions defensively with Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire putting in colossal performances to prevent the Danes adding to their tally.

Italy, meanwhile, showed they too can tough it out as they found themselves on the backfoot for the majority of the 120 minutes against Spain before holding their nerve in the penalty shoot-out.

Giorgio Chiellini will need to be a little cuter in his handling of in-form Kane than he was with his opposite number Jordi Alba as the respective captains discussed which end to take the penalties in Tuesday's first semi-final.

The Juventus defender, 36, resembled a grizzly bear toying with its prey before ripping it to shreds and if the idea was to rattle the Spaniards it seemed to have the desired effect.

Emerson Palmieri filled the void of the injured Leonardo Spinazzola down Italy's left and showed good combinations with Lorenzo Insigne ahead of him and should keep his place in the starting XI.

The battle for midfield supremacy will pit English terriers Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice against Italian stallions Marco Verratti and Jorginho and while the English duo may lack the same quality on the ball as the Azzurri double act it has been their tenacity that is the driving force behind England's best performances.

Roberto Mancini is likely to persist with non-scoring Ciro Immobile and the lively Federico Chiesa in attack as Italy look to extend their unbeaten run to 34 matches while Gareth Southgate's toughest selection looks to be whether to stick with Bukayo Saka as part of a front three with Kane and Raheem Sterling or recall Jadon Sancho.

Jack Grealish is likely to have to be content with a place on the bench but the Aston Villa forward could yet play a key role if England can apply pressure on Gianluigi Donnarumma's goal in the closing stages.

Prediction: Italy to break England hearts

Updated: July 9th 2021, 3:41 PM
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