Southgate Promises To Break  55-Year Jinx Tonight As They Play Italy

Southgate Promises To Break 55-Year Jinx Tonight As They Play Italy

By Simon Abaho

The wait is almost over as Gareth Southgate’s England side look to etch their name in the history books forever with victory over Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

The Three Lions are on the cusp of glory after overcoming Denmark in a nerve-jangling semi-final at Wembley on Wednesday, with Harry Kane scoring the all-decisive goal in extra time.

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However, the Italians are out to spoil the party at Wembley having secured their spot in the showpiece final following a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Spain on Tuesday.

Kieran Trippier is poised for a shock recall for tonight’s European Championship final against Italy in a move that indicates Gareth Southgate is set to play with a back-three.

Trippier is in line to start the final in place of Bukayo Saka in a move that allows England to move to a three-man defence, although Mason Mount is also sweating over his losing his spot to Trippier. 

Southgate successfully used a back-three in the last-16 tie against Germany – but has used a four-man defence in all five of the other games.

But the tactical switch is a clear indication of the threat of Italy’s attack Southgate believes his team will confront.

Kyle Walker, who was excellent at right-back against the Danes, is expected to move inside to centre back alongside Harry Maguire and John Stones.

Trippier and Luke Shaw will occupy the two wing-back positions, while Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice will continue in midfield.

Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Mount or Saka will play in attack.

How to watch England vs Italy: live stream free Euro 2020 final online  today | TechRadar
Kane Vs Immobile

After making the brave switch in the last-16 tie, Southgate said they wanted to use speed to get in behind the German defence, which could also be thinking behind the move for this game.

‘You change the shape, you pick certain personnel instead of others and if it goes wrong, you’re dead.’ he said.

‘We had to go about it in the way we believed. We wanted aggressive pressure all over the field. We felt that to match them up was the way of doing that. We felt that speed in behind Harry [Kane] could cause them a problem. I thought Bukayo [Saka] and Raheem [Sterling] really created that jeopardy in their backline.’

The Azzuri have been brilliant all summer, their streak remains unbroken and Roberto Mancini is marshalling a group all rooted behind the cause. 

England are up against truly worthy opponents in this final. 

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