On Sunday, England takes on Italy in the Euro 2020 final, with both nations having reason to be optimistic about their chances.
With victories over Croatia and the Czech Republic sandwiched between a draw with Scotland, Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions topped Group D.
They then advanced to the last 16, where they defeated old rivals Germany for the first time in nearly 20 years in a competitive game, before thumping Ukraine in the quarter-finals.
FOLLOW LIVE: England versus Italy build-up and early team news ahead of Euro 2020 final England then went to Wembley Stadium to face Denmark in the last four, with Harry Kane’s extra-time goal enough to send them to their first major tournament final since 1966.
Early on in the competition, Roberto Mancini’s team delighted the crowd by defeating Turkey, Switzerland, and Wales to win Group A.
In the first knockout round, they beat Austria in extra time before knocking out world number one rated Belgium in the quarter-finals.
Spain was eventually eliminated in the semi-final, but only after extra time and penalties, with Chelsea player Jorginho scoring the game-winning penalty.
Italy’s most recent victory was in the 2006 World Cup, but they haven’t won the European Championship since 1968, two years after England’s only men’s international triumph.
All you need to know about the Euro 2020 final is right here.
When will the Euro 2020 final take place?
The final will take place on Sunday, July 11th, at 8pm BST.
What happened to the final?
The final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, giving the Three Lions home advantage for the second year in a row.
What channel is the game broadcast on?
The game will be broadcast live in the United Kingdom on BBC One, with coverage beginning at 7 p.m., and on ITV, with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The game will be streamed live on the iPlayer and ITV Hub apps, which are also available on mobile devices.
Team news As he prepares to select his side for the final, Gareth Southgate has the luxury of a clean slate in terms of health and suspensions.
With Italy presenting their team with their toughest test of the tournament so far, his key decision may come down to a probable change of formation.
After surrendering the tournament’s first goal against Denmark, Jordan Pickford will start in goal, possibly in front of an unchanged defense, with Kyle Walker and Luke Shaw succeeding in full-back positions outside of first-choice central defensive combination John Stones and Harry Maguire.
If Southgate opts to go back to the three-man defensive that he used against Germany, Kieran Trippier might play on the right flank, with Walker moving inside to center-back.
Midfielders Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice have formed one of the best pairs at the tournament and will almost certainly start again, with fit-again Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson one of Southgate’s main bench options if he needs them.
Mason Mount, who has played as a No 10 in the last two games, might drop back and form more of a traditional three in midfield if Southgate wants to be a little more conservative.
At the top of the pitch, Southgate has a plethora of attacking options, including the in-form Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane, two of the tournament’s best players.
The two are must-starts, with Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, and Jadon Sancho vying for the final right-side berth.
Saka started the semi-final and has the upper hand moving into Sunday’s final.
Italy will be without left-back Leonardo Spinazzola, who ruptured his Achilles tendon in the quarter-final, and Roberto Mancini must decide whether to start Emerson Palmieri again, as he did in the semi-final, or make another change to a previously settled defense.
Jorginho, Nicolo Barella, and Marco Verratti form an amazing midfield combination, one so good that group-stage hero Manuel Locatelli is now forced to sit out.
Federico Chiesa has earned a starting spot in the team after starting as a substitute and will almost certainly start here after his goal in the semi-final.
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile will start at the front of the line, with Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne, who has scored impressive goals against Turkey and Belgium, working on the left side.
Expected line-ups England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Phillips, Rice, Mount; Saka, Kane, Sterling Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Verratti, Jorginho, Barella; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne Odds Match odds: England: 2.88 (15/8) Draw: 3.15 (11/5) To take the trophy: England: 1.93 (10/11)
If the more basic approach to the Spain semi-final is anything to go by, the loss of rampaging left-back Leonardo Spinazzola to serious injury has affected their gameplan drastically, and Roberto Mancinis side were essentially second-best at Wembley earlier this week.
They’ll almost probably have more of the ball this time, which could work to their advantage.
The Azzurri have a stronger, more technically skilled midfield and should look to take use of their numerical advantage against England’s central duo of Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice, but they struggled to include Marco Verratti and Nicolo Barella against Spain.
Meanwhile, England has an advantage up front and out wide.
There could be trouble if Raheem Sterling gets a run on the inside against Italy’s senior centre-halves.
Anybody on the right side of the field may have a good time playing against Emerson Palmieri.
Harry Kane likes to drop deep against two-man midfields than threes, but by doing so, he might neutralize Italy’s midfield advantage and dominate Jorginho.
It’s difficult to make a decision.
Italy, like we witnessed previously in the campaign, would most likely defeat England.
England would most likely defeat the Italy that defeated Spain.
Whatever the score, a close game is certain.
Is it on its way back?
Let’s suppose it is, and let’s pretend it isn’t.
England defeated Italy 2-1.