Italy have never lost against England at a major tournament, but the Nigerian national football team handler is tipping the Three Lions as the favourites for Sunday’s final
Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr is convinced that the Euro 2020 final at Wembley is too close to call, but he believes England have the edge over the Italians.
England and Italy clash in the final of the premier European Championship after both teams made it to Sunday’s title decider without losing a game.
Italy have been particularly impressive at this tournament, producing an aggressive, counterattacking style that many sides have found hard to live with.
Roberto Mancini’s men defeated Turkey, Wales, Switzerland in the group stages without conceding a goal before outsmarting Austria after extra time in the Round of 16.
The Azurris took arguably their biggest scalp when they knocked out world number one Belgium in the quarterfinals, and they needed penalty to down Spain in the semifinals.
England’s most significant casualty is Germany, with the Three Lions not particularly stretched in dispatching Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Denmark. Five of those six matches have been played at Wembley Stadium – the English’s traditional home – giving Gareth Southgate’s men a more-than-slight advantage.
Rohr thinks that distinct advantage could be the deciding factor in getting a winner or loser between two closely matched teams.
“Of course, England is favourite at home,” Rohr told Nation.
“They are a complete team, physically and tactically on the top. The fans are a big support, but I regretted their attitude to whistle the opponents, even the national anthem.
“I think that Italy can be a winning outsider, solid block-playing with fast counterattacks.
“Both teams can play with three or four in the defense. A lot of teams now have a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 organization, evolution, defending, and attacking together.
“So, a nice final on Sunday.”
Italy have never lost against England at a major tournament, winning 1-0 in EURO 1980, 2-1 at both the 1990 and 2014 World Cups, and drawing 0-0 before winning on penalties in EURO 2012.
This is Italy’s 10th major tournament final (6 World Cups, 4 Euros), with only Germany (14) having played in more among European nations. But it will be England’s first-ever appearance in a European Championship final and their first in the final of a major tournament since winning the 1966 World Cup on home soil.