Joseph Amos gives his opinion on England’s journey to Wembley tomorrow.
The favourites are now home and dry to the Euro 2020 final and I don’t see why football won’t be coming home.
Perhaps some people will still be doubting Gareth Southgate and his men come tomorrow. Looking at the journey of the Three Lions, one can tell that it has been nervy and filled with emotions. It must be said that they didn’t particularly start great but hey, here they are after beating closest rivals and toughest foe Germany.
This is the closest England has come to winning a title as a footballing nation since winning the 1966 FIFA World Cup. In fact, it is the first time the country will be reaching a European Championship final. So much is at stake.
In the build-up to this epic final, Italy won all games except for the 1-1 draw against Spain in the semis which went into penalties. In fact, the Azzurri defeated the title favourite in the last eight. A typical Italian side have conceded just three goals so far, but they are buzzing with scoring goals. Roberto Mancini’s men have netted a total of 12 goals so far.
That said, it should also be noted that the Harry Kane-led attack has produced 10 goals while credit must also go to the backline for keeping it tight thus far. Mikkel Damsgaard’s goal for Denmark dented the flawless record.
This set of players would be hoping to re-write history. Past records show that Italy clearly has the edge on head-to-head. Both countries have met 27 times with the Azzurri winning 11 versus England’s eight, with eight ending in draws.
Aside from managing a solitary win in their last seven meetings, England have suffered tournament-ending losses from previous Euro encounters with the most recent being the 2012 quarter-finals.
While history is important, Italy cannot come into this tie arrogant. They could get hurt. You will agree that England has what it takes. It will not be a matter of personnel.
What has been evident in the Italian side is how compact and united they have been. The connection between each department is great and it is working excellently. Have you seen how Jorginho, Barella, and Marco Veratti are combining? They are also possessing the ball well. For England, they will be counting on the same experience as exhibited in the German game. Pace and power as usual. Hopefully, the likes of Sterling and Saka will come to the party and the wing-backs will come alive with some caution.
The streets have gone crazy and Wembley Stadium will sure come alive on Sunday. England will definitely have a large majority of the fans behind them chanting their national anthem and the names of the players. These are professional players who are used to fans chanting and singing in favour of their team. The Azzuri will have to come to the game with their collectedness if they must leave London with the Euro 2020 trophy.
Interestingly, the debate on the home front among England fans is if Monday can be declared a Bank Holiday should the Three Lions triumph. The phrase, it is coming home is also on the lips of everyone but we will soon find out if it will be going to Rome instead.