England vs Italy
England are set to take part in their first major tournament final since all the way back in 1966 on Sunday.
Gareth Southgate’s side faced off with Denmark on Wednesday, in just their third-ever European Championship semi-final – the previous having come in 1996.
Against Denmark, though, the Three Lions would dominate for large stretches, and eventually come away with a 2-1 win after extra time.
The Danes took the lead in the tie, but an own goal, followed by a Harry Kane strike in the first-half of extra-time, saw England advance.
England will now host Roberto Mancini’s Italy at Wembley on Sunday, July 11th.
The Azzurri have been one of the most impressive teams at the tournament, and have won every single one of their matches thus far.
As such, whilst England have been impressive this summer, Italy are probably the favourites for the final.
Conte on England
Ahead of the tie, Antonio Conte has been discussing England.
The former Italy boss of course spent time coaching in England when he managed to win the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea, so he should have a decent understanding of the English game.
And, when looking at the current England team, Conte has picked out a weakness.
That weakness is, according to Conte, if England’s defence is pressed when they are attempting to build from the back, they are not as good as Spain when trying to escape said press.
“In the middle of the park they have two very physical midfielders in [Declan] Rice and [Kalvin] Phillips, capable players who bring balance but very few vertical passes, often going for the easiest option,” he went on.
“One of England’s weak spots is that, if their defence is pressed when building from the back, they aren’t as good as Spain at escaping their opponents’ press. But if you go after them with ultra-offensive pressing and they do escape, then watch out for their pace up front.
“Again, this is when the [Italy] players must show their experience at reading the various moments of the game.”
Quotes via the Mirror.