Euro 2020 | Sporting Index In-Depth Guide
The Story of Euro 2020 & What to Expect in The Final
England and Italy will battle for glory when they contest the Euro 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday evening. The Three Lions are desperate to end 55 years of hurt, but Italy are on a 33-game unbeaten streak, so it promises to be a ferociously competitive clash. Both teams have performed heroics to reach the final, and it is time for us to reflect on the past few weeks. We can then lay out what to expect when Gareth Southgate's men take on Italy's battle-hardened troops in the final.
England and Italy lead the way with five victories apiece at the Euros. Southgate's men finished top of their group after beating Croatia and the Czech Republic and drawing with Scotland. They picked up a scintillating 2-0 victory over Germany in the Round of 16, before thumping Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals.
The Three Lions needed extra-time to see off a plucky Danish side in the semis, but captain Harry Kane fired in a late winner. Italy breezed through their group with three wins out of three. They put in an uncharacteristically limp performance against Austria in the Round of 16, but won 2-1 after extra-time. The Azzurri then clinched a seriously impressive victory over Belgium. Their semi-final with Spain ended in a draw, but Italy held their nerve to prevail in the penalty shootout.
Most Team Goals
Spain are currently the top scorers in the competition. They banged in 13 goals in just six games. Their opener against Sweden finished 0-0, despite Spain having a record 86% of the possession. Things were not looking particularly promising after a 1-1 draw with Poland, but then Sergio Busquets returned to the team and the Spanish exploded into life.
They thrashed Slovakia 5-0 to clinch a place in the Round of 16, and then beat Croatia 5-3 after extra-time in that game. They needed penalties to get past Switzerland after a 1-1 draw in the quarter-finals, but their luck ran out in that semi-final defeat to Italy. The Italians are level with Denmark on 12 goals apiece, and they would equal France's all-time Euros record of 14 goals if they were to score twice against England in the final.
Fewest Goals Conceded
England have conceded just once in six games so far at the Euros. Their run of five clean sheets came to an end when Mikel Damsgaard curled a free-kick past the outstretched glove of Jordan Pickford on Wednesday night, but they rarely looked troubled after that.
Their expected goals against (xGA) figure is lower than any other team at the tournament, and they have yielded very few chances. The Three Lions have scored 10 times, which is not quite as impressive as Italy's tally, but they have looked solid at the back.
Italy's forwards love to play on the shoulder of the last defender. They have been flagged offside 23 times at this tournament, which is more than any other team. England, Switzerland and Croatia are next, with 13 apiece. Ciro Immobile is particularly dangerous, so John Stones and Harry Maguire will need to have their wits about them in the final, while the pace of Kyle Walker could be crucial in thwarting the Lazio striker if he beats the offside trap.
Most Tackles Won
Switzerland actually lead the way right now with 36 tackles won, ahead of Austria, Germany and then England. The Swiss put in a phenomenal performance to knock reigning world champions France out of the competition, and their tough-tackling approach earned them a draw with Spain in the next round. They lost the penalty shootout, but they can be proud of their efforts at this tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Patrick Schick have long since packed their bags and headed home, but they lead the race for the top scorer award, with five goals each. Ronaldo scored five in just three group stage games, but he was powerless to prevent his team losing to Belgium in the Round of 16. Schick was a revelation at this tournament, scoring wondergoals and predatory finishes to inspire his Czech Republic team to the quarter-finals. Four players have scored four times at the tournament - Romelu Lukaku, Emil Forsberg, Karim Benzema and Harry Kane. The England captain will seize the award if he hits a brace against Italy in the final.
Most Passes Completed
Spain defender Aymeric Laporte completed an astonishing 658 passes as the Spanish dominated possession in every game they played. That left him well ahead of second-placed Jordi Alba, with the Spanish left-back completing 429 passes. The next two players in the list are also Spanish - Pedri and Pau Torres - and then John Stones of England is on 406. Italy's Jorginho has completed 399.
Raheem Sterling has been full of pace, trickery and industry for England at this tournament. The Man City forward has completed 29 dribbles, which leaves him ahead of Kylian Mbappe and Martin Braithwaite. Italy's top dribbler is Federico Chiesa, with 18, even though he has only played 352 minutes at the tournament.
Switzerland's Steven Zuber leads the way with four assists at Euro 2020. He was the key creative force for his team as they went all the way to the quarter-finals, before crashing out in a penalty shootout against Spain. Dani Olmo, Luke Shaw and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are next, with three apiece.
Most Tackles from a Player
Italy's Marco Verratti missed the first two games of the tournament through injury, but he has been a beast since returning to the team. In just four games, he has completed 21 tackles. That leaves him seven clear of his closest rivals in this regard.
Swiss goalkeeper Yan Sommer made 21 saves at the tournament, which is three more than Ugurcan Cakir, Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Ward. However, he still conceded nine goals. England's Jordan Pickford has only needed to make 11 saves, but he leads the way with five clean sheets.
Goal of the Tournament
It has to be Patrik Schick's worldie against Scotland in the group stage. The Czech forward picked the ball up on the half-way line and fired it over the despairing David Marshall, who watched on in horror as it hit the back of the net.
There are several contenders - Germany's 4-2 win against Portugal, a 3-3 draw between France and Switzerland, Italy's absorbing 2-1win victory over Belgium - but we have to give it to the Round of 16 clash between Spain and Croatia. The Spanish dominated the ball and looked set to cruise to a 3-1 victory. However, the Croatian players refused to admit defeat, with Luka Modric pulling the strings, and they scored twice in the final five minutes to force extra-time. Spain then rallied, and goals from Alvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal settled an eight-goal thriller.
Denmark performed valiantly to reach the semi-finals after star playmaker Christian Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest in their opening game of the tournament. A subsequent 2-1 defeat to Belgium left them on the brink of elimination, but they swept past Russia, Wales and the Czech Republic to surge into the final four. However, Denmark are a very good team, so it is unfair to call them overachievers. Credit must go to the Czech Republic for beating the Netherlands en-route to the quarter-finals, while Switzerland had a very impressive tournament, but we will give the award to Ukraine.
They came through a tough group and then surprised everyone by beating Sweden in the Round of 16. Yes, they were no match for England in the quarters, but they vastly exceeded expectations overall. Special mention to Hungary for making a mockery of any projections that they would be the whipping boys in the Group of Death.
It has to be France. The reigning world champions won just one game at the entire tournament - a nervy 1-0 victory over Germany in their opener. They then drew with Hungary and Portugal, before crashing out against Switzerland in the Round of 16. There were tensions in the squad, and they never really turned up. We must also mention Turkey. Some tipped them as the dark horses of the tournament, but they lost all three group stage games in meek fashion, conceding eight goals in the process.
Player of the Tournament
Raheem Sterling has been the driving force for England at this tournament. He scored winning goals against Croatia and the Czech Republic in the group stage, and then slotted in the opener in the 2-0 win against Germany. He was a constant menace against Ukraine, and his presence in the box then forced Simon Kjaer to score an own-goal in the semi-finals.
Some said he should be left out of the team at the start of this tournament, but he has made them eat their words. Italy¿s Gianluigi Donnarumma, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini and Jorginho have been impressive, but right now Sterling looks like the frontrunner for the player of the tournament award.
England vs. Italy Betting Preview
We make England the narrow favourites at 41/25 to beat Italy in the final. The Italians have had an extra day of rest, and they are unbeaten since September 2018, but England have home advantage. We have Italy as the slight underdogs at 187/100 in our Euro 2020 final odds, with 2/1 on the draw. You can also simply bet on the winner of the tie, with England priced at 81/100 and Italy at 47/50. We are expecting a potentially cagey game, with 49/100 on under 2.5 goals and 8/5 on over 2.5 goals.
We also have a number of exciting Euro 2020 final spread betting markets for you to check out. England are priced at 11.25-12.75 in the Win Index, while Italy are 10.5-12. You can also find markets such as Supremacy Index, Goal Rush, Total Goal Minutes and handicaps. Our long-term tournament specials are still running too, so check out the betting options and grab a stake in the action!