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Monday, July 26, 2021
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England train ahead of Euro 2020 Final against Italy

England will be hoping to end a 55-year trophy drought on Sunday (July 11), when they face Italy at Wembley in the European Championship final.

England manager Gareth Southgate led the squad out for their final training session at St George’s Park, Burton upon Trent on Saturday (July 10). Captain Harry Kane, England’s top scorer with four goals in the tournament, and Raheem Sterling with three plus four assists, will be looked to by fans to give England victory.

England midfielder Phil Foden was the only player in the squad not to take part in Saturday’s team training session as a precaution due to a minor injury. Manager Gareth Southgate has no shortage of options on the right side of England’s attack where Foden usually plays, with several players competing for the spot including Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.

This Euro 2020 final will be England men’s first major final since 1966, when they won the World Cup on home soil. England have never won the European Championships before. At Euro 2016, England were knocked out by Iceland in the last 16, while their best previous performances were reaching the semi-finals in 1968 and 1996.

Italy are looking to win the European Championship for the first time since 1968 and secure their first major trophy since lifting the 2006 World Cup. Sunday’s match will be Italy’s 10th major final, including six World Cups and four Euros. At Euro 2016 they were knocked out by Germany in the

quarter-finals, losing 6-5 on penalties. The Azzurri last reached the Euro final in 2012, only to lose 4-0 to Spain.

Italy have never lost to England at a major tournament. In their last two competitive match-ups, Italy knocked England out of Euro 2012 in the quarter-finals and beat them again in a group stage match at the 2014 World Cup. The most recent friendly clash in March 2018 ended 1-1 at Wembley.

England has only conceeded one goal in their journey to the final: after beating Germany 2-0 in the Round of 16 and thumping Ukraine 4-0 in the quarter-finals, England defeated a resilient Denmark side 2-1 in extra time.

On their route to the final, Italy comfortably secured first place in Group A, and beat Austria, top-ranked Belgium and Spain on penalties in the semi-finals.

The team led by Roberto Mancini is on a 33-match unbeaten streak, a sensational revival after they failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

(Production: Sophie Penney)

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