Italy vs. England Euro 2020 Final Odds, Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Matchup of Soccer Giants (July 11)
Eddie Keogh – The FA/The FA via Getty Images. Pictured: Raheem Sterling.
- The Euro 2020 final will be contested between two of the continent's elite teams in Italy and England.
- While Italy have dazzled with their attacking prowess, England have thrived with a defense-first approach.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup, delivering his best bet for the game below.
Italy vs. England Odds
|Over/Under||1.5 (-195 / +155)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 3 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.|
After 51 matches, the Euro 2020 final is here as England plays host to Italy at Wembley Stadium in London in the final game of this year’s tournament.
England hasn’t won a major international tournament since 1966 when it won the World Cup, and has never won the European Championships. On the other side, the Italians won the 2006 World Cup, but Italy lost the Euro 2012 final to Spain and hasn’t won the Euros since 1968.
Both teams have won five and drawn one of their six matches in the tournament. England won its group, beating Croatia and the Czech Republic, while drawing Scotland before knocking off Germany, Ukraine and Denmark in extra time en route to Sunday’s final.
Italy breezed through its group of Turkey, Wales and Switzerland with three wins, needed extra time to beat Austria, beat Belgium 2-1 and then knocked out Spain on penalties in the semifinal.
Despite Italy’s historic DNA for stout defending and pragmatic play, England is rightly favored and actually undervalued due to its rock solid defensive performances.
How Will Italy Manage Loss of Spinazzola?
Any discussion of Italy’s tactics in this final match has to start with the loss of left back Leonardo Spinazzola. He went out late in the quarterfinal win against Belgium with an achilles injury, and the Italians had their worst possession performance of the tournament without him in the semifinal against Spain.
Spinazzola is a primary ball progressor on the left wing, and he enables left-sided forward Lorenzo Insigne to play in the center-left channel with supporting runs from Spinazzola down the left in possession.
Spinazzola was a primary outlet for Italy’s three plus passers in midfield to progress the ball into more dangerous areas. The midfield three of Jorginho, Nico Barella and Marco Verratti struggled to cope with Spain and couldn’t keep the ball, often resorting to long balls up to Ciro Immobile and Insigne, instead of progressive build-up.
England’s defense has been most vulnerable in the channel between right back Kyle Walker and John Stones, the kind of space Insigne will look to occupy. However, without Spinazzola’s presence on the wing, it’s easier for Walker to tuck in and help deal with the pace over the top, as he did against Denmark in the semifinal.
Italy is likely to cede some possession to England and dare them to try to pass through their midfield, while looking to nick the ball and break with pace on the counter. Almost all of England’s ball progression and chance creation comes from the wings because their midfielders aren’t great passers.
If Italy denies entry into its own final third, it’s difficult to see how the English will break them down, but the pressure will be on Italy’s center backs to avoid being in space, and on the fullbacks to prevent Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling from causing problems from wide areas.
The attack might look like more of a 4-4-2 out of possession, with Insigne and Immobile looking to break in behind and Federico Chiesa dropping deeper without the ball before surging forward and waiting to pounce on second ball opportunities as he did against Spain for the goal.
England’s Transition Play is Key
While Italy is likely to turn to transition for its goals, England’s transition defense has been the best in the entire tournament. It has allowed just five shots from direct attacks, and its prowess was on full display against Denmark.
Multiple times Denmark’s intricate counterattacking plans were foiled by excellent game reading from England’s center backs or the pace of Kyle Walker protecting England from Mikkel Damsgaard’s and Martin Braithwaite’s runs over the top.
England gets most of its production and creativity from wide areas, which makes sense because England’s midfield three of Declan Rice, Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips are elite pressers and good defenders, but none would be considered plus progressive passers. The result is Italy has the passing edge in midfield, but England has the ability to break up their passing patterns.
England will look to turn the midfield battle into a stalemate because they have the edge in the other areas of the pitch. Without Spinazzola to worry about, Walker can tuck in to create a back three in possession, Shaw can get forward to provide the creativity, and England can look to break in transition as much as possible.
Italy looked quite vulnerable against both Spain and Belgium in defensive transition, but it seemed that Spain consistently picked the wrong pass and Belgium’s chances didn’t come off. England will want to isolate Sterling in space as much as possible, especially against the Italians’ aging center backs.
England’s first goal against Denmark came from Harry Kane dropping deep and playing a pass in behind to Buyako Saka, who then squared it to Sterling before Simon Kjaer bungled it in for an own goal.
That pattern of play creates an issue for Italy, because its center backs won’t want to come forward, and it’s not clear who marks Kane when he drops deep.
Betting Analysis & Pick
England manager Gareth Southgate’s pragmatic and defense-first approach has almost been Italy-esque in its effectiveness. It hasn’t come without its critics, especially against much weaker opponents.
However, England is an elite defensive team who just held Denmark to 0.3 xG and two shots after the halftime whistle. They haven’t allowed many big scoring chances all tournament and the main avenue of attack for Italy down the left flank is now significantly weaker without Spinazzola.
It’s much easier tactically to find the way for England to break through Italy than vice versa, as Italy may resort to playing in Immobile and Insigne long, as opposed to longer periods of possession and build-up. It may have worked against Spain and Belgium, but both are much worse defensive teams than this England team.
And if it’s tied late, England can bring on elite dribbler and chance creator Jack Grealish, while Italy doesn’t have that level of game changing talent to decide the Euro 2020 champion. England is at home, they are healthier, they’ve been the better side in this tournament, and they should lift the trophy.
Pick: England To Lift The Trophy (-130 or better)