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Euro Final preview, from and England fan. [I Love Real Football]

I think England has about a 40-45% chance of winning. In Rome, Italy would be slightly heavier favourites but I think this will be close.

Italy has been the best team in the tournament and if they win, they will be well-deserving champions. It doesn't look like a great team on paper compared with past Italian sides. France, Germany and England at least; all have rosters of bigger name players in club football. Mancini's Italy team is an outstanding collective though. They are the only major international team to play with the cohesion of an elite club side. With less time to train the players, how do you coach an organised high press, fluid position rotation and fast passing with ball retention? It shouldn't be possible but Roberto Mancini has found a way. They play like Guardiola's Man City team or like Napoli did under Maurizio Sarri: it's beautiful to watch and a nightmare to play against.

The England team is very different. It's more of a reactive, counterattacking side; certainly in big games. Though we did show against Ukraine and Denmark that we can attack and dominate games when we have to. I would expect Southgate to go more defensive in this game, as he did against Germany. Whereas Mancini is the outstanding coach, Southgate has proven very adept (so far) in game-by-game tactics. In the early rounds, #SouthgateOut trended on Twitter whenever his teamsheets landed. Now the BBC fan poll shows that the England team most people want for the final is exactly the same as the side that Southgate himself actually picked for the last game! #Vindicated. How refreshing it is to have a coach who selected a team based on a plan, rather than just putting the biggest names on the pitch and hoping it works out. Yes; Capello, Hodgson, Eriksson and McClaren, that is aimed at you.

Having said this, Italy is a more complete and more cohesive outfit. England is a good team but Italy is (at this moment) a great one. However, if the England team loses the final, they still have had a good tournament and deserve to be genuinely considered a world power in the international game as well as the club one. Whatever most England fans think, the historic record says that this has not usually been the case. It's also a young team so I would expect this group of players to stay together and remain major tournament contenders for the next five or so years. That doesn't mean we will win a trophy but it does mean we have a chance.

Italy, by contrast, is at the absolute peak of its cycle. Most of their players are in their late twenties or older and now is absolutely the best time for them in terms of form. It's their pinnacle and a damn high pinnacle. If England loses, there is no disgrace and it's been a great tournament.

Enjoy the game.

Burnley123 馃憤
Picklebobble256-60, M
I have to say i think England are probably favourites to win.

Don't think i've EVER been able to say that about an England team in my lifetime !

I think Southgate is an excellent coach and has taken a group of 'who's?' and made them into a consistent, winning team !
When have we EVER had THAT ?

Right now i think Italy are actually contemplating a loss. Something they've not had to consider in a long time !
Mancini has done well to hold a group of 'flatterers to deceive' together to get to this point, but for all the no doubt usual, unflattering aspects of the Italian game (count the number of dives and attempts to get players booked etc) I think Southgate and those who play will have taken that into account and will hopefully play their own game and go on to win.
Burnley12341-45, M
@Picklebobble2 Its respect, not fear. LOL

I do think we deserve to be in the final on merit. The Danes do have [i]very legitimate grievances[/i] for the manner of the goal which put them out. They are right to feel hard done by. However, even they admit that we dominated the general play in that game. It is a good England team and a good Italian team. It will be a tough game for both sides.
Picklebobble256-60, M
@Burnley123 Respect this side of the pitch is fine.
Don't want or need it on the one their playing on.

Go out. Dominate the game. Get the goals. Win !
Nyloncapes56-60, M
@Burnley123 we deserve to be there we have beat who ever put in front of us, not like Germany, France, Spain and the rest , in football like any sport you need bit of luck and Danes might feel hard done by , but decisions go for you and against you
SammyJo51-55, F

My thoughts swing one way and then the next....but I have put England to win on the lil group thing we have going, but only after drawing at full time....

However, there's one thing that people haven't mentioned and that is the pressure of expectation; We had a few blips in the last game where, I think, the sense of occasion and achievement really got to some of the players...and I think we might just see a fair bit of that this game too....

Italy came into the championships, remember, as underdogs...somehow slipping under the radar and they have a lot to prove....and don't forget, they're always there or there abouts so that mentality is all part of it....

I just hope that it's a good game. Both deserve to win it..


Burnley12341-45, M
@SammyJo Our press is vicious enough LOL. I don't think either team will be heavily criticised, unless one gets absolutely hammered. Both have already exceeded expectations.
SammyJo51-55, F
@Burnley123 ...oh, yes, the English press is [i]beyond[/i] vicious! There are a lot of armchair critics around, unlike ourselves, that expect that 'Roy of The Rovers' fairytale...or [i]worse still[/i], think that Gareth should throw the No 9 shirt to them and they'll score for us.....and that their only exercise regime comes from pie eating...but I digress...

Then there's other critics, more aligned with our way of thinking, that sees games week in week out and knows what we're talking about...and make valid comments....

I will say that, as an Owl, the...ahem...'standard' of football hasn't been as top notch of late so I haven't seen the same quality matches as some...

Burnley12341-45, M
@SammyJo As a Burnley fan, I have little idea what a quality football match is. 馃ぃ

Joking aside, I do know the game as do you.
adorbz26-30, F
I really don鈥檛 think england are gonna win but I do think there鈥檚 much more chance of it than from previous england teams 馃槄 I pay hardly any attention to club football normally and I saw the squad at the beginning of the competition and I was like where鈥檚 adam lallana 馃槅 but no we actually have good players now 馃お

Actual prediction: If england don鈥檛 win then they will do well in qatar next year. If they do win then we鈥檙e absolutely going out in the group stage with 0 points 馃お
Burnley12341-45, M
@adorbz [quote]I pay hardly any attention to club football normally and I saw the squad at the beginning of the competition and I was like where鈥檚 adam lallana[/quote]

To answer your question, he's now a deep-lying playmaker for Brighton. Injuries robbed him of the pace that made him a promising winger but I don't think he would be good enough for the current squad even at his peak. Delli Alli and Jesse Lingard were regulars last time but now not good enough for the squad.

Yes, we do have good players now. What happened was that a decade ago; the FA and the Premier League got together and overhauled our academy structure. We weren't producing the same quality of players that other big nations were because our youth development systems were behind the best. It worked and for a period of a few years, we became the strongest nation in age-group football. Mount, Foden, and others all won titles at U-19 or U-21 level. I'm not one for blind optimism but years ago, I did predict that this was a generation that could be contenders for these reasons.
RodionRomanovitch56-60, M
So Southgate's brave new England side take to the field with five defenders and two holding midfielders , hmmm.....

For the neutrals this could be a real trial. Extra time and penalties ? I wouldn't bet against it.

Nice work on the pre-match analysis btw.

Good luck and may the best team win. (The ones in blue.)

Edit: Jesus , I missed the start. 1-0 already !
monte370-79, M
Great analysis. Italy have to be the favorites and England has exceeded expectations. Let鈥檚 us all pause now for a prayer for Jordan Pickford鈥. Please, please have a good game.
Burnley12341-45, M
@monte3 It is the one weak spot. He has played better than most people expected but yes, the goalkeeper is the one area where we don't have strength. Pope, Henderson, and Ramsdale are not world-class either and there is no young prodigy coming through. As England fans, we just have to accept that whatever we achieve it will be in spite of not having a top keeper.
RodionRomanovitch56-60, M
Melissa Reddy just tweeted this ;

"Steady flow of ticketless fans were still rushing into stands when the opener was scored. Aisles so full, stairs blocked and the disabled area in front of the press box is packed. Paying supporters pleading with helpless stewards to get them out. Kids scared, seats stolen. Unsafe."

Nyloncapes56-60, M
England will win as I think we will be fitter and Italian defenders old, but we have to set the tempo of the game , yes the future does look good for England when you look on the subs bench
Burnley12341-45, M
Gareth has picked his defensive team. Trippier in for Saka. Walker moves inside to make a third CB. I'm not surprised and at this point, I have to trust Southgate's judgment.
DeWayfarer61-69, M
[center][big][b][c=002673]GO DENMARK![/c][/b][/big]


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