The big day – Sunday July 11 – England v Italy

by Lorraine Williamson
the big day

FOOTBALL – After a rollercoaster of emotions and triumphs, the big day is almost here. England will take on Italy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday at 9pm to decide the winner of Euro 2020.

2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the European Championship. The competition first started in 1960 and takes place every four years. Last year, however, the competition was postponed due to Covid-19, which is why in 2021, the championship title is Euro 2020.

Portugal

Current winners, Portugal left in the knockout stages of the final 16 when they lost 1-0 against Belgium.

England

England reached the semi-finals of Euro 1968. The rules were slightly different then. However, England lost their semi-final match against Yugoslavia who then played in the final against Italy. The Soviet Union who lost against Italy in their semi-final played against England for the third place play off. England won 2-0.

They also reached the semi-finals in 1996. A game current manager, Gareth Southgate no doubt remembers well. Southgate missed the fatal penalty which meant Germany won the match. Germany then went on to win in the final against Czech Republic.

However, Southgate must put thoughts of 1996 aside and focus on the big day, and his players lifting the cup for Euro 2020.

Although Wembley can accommodate 90,000 supporters, thanks to recent relaxing of restrictions, there are expected to be around 60,000 England fans at the final.

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Italy

Italy has reached 3 finals but won only once.  This will be their 4th final.

Previously they were beaten by France in Euro 2000 and by Spain at Euro 2012. They won in 1968 against Yugoslavia.

The Italian football federation is to distribute 1,000 tickets at just over €600 per person for fans desperate to attend the game at Wembley. However, due to Covid restrictions, there are terms and conditions that require to be followed. This means the fans must travel in and out of the UK on Sunday. Furthermore, they will remain in a bubble, stewarded, and segregated at all times. They must have no contact with the public. And they must quarantine for five days upon return to Italy.

Who will lift the cup on the big day?

Euro 2020 are conducting a poll on twitter to see who the fans think will be the winner. Currently, it looks too close to call!

Of the final two teams, Harry Kane makes it to the number three spot of the Euros for goals scored. Only Portugal´s Ronaldo and Schick of Czech Republic are ahead by one goal each. Top assists include Shaw in second equal position, with Ciro Immobile of Italy and Jack Grealish of England both equal at number five. England´s Harry Maguire is the only player from the two teams with 2 yellow cards in the tournament.

The statistics are impressive!

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