England fans defended over ‘It’s Coming Home’ song
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England midfielder Kalvin Phillips has declared that Jorginho and Marco Verratti will provide the Three Lions with their biggest test of Euro 2020 in Sunday’s final against Italy. Gareth Southgate’s players are gearing up for the highest-profile match of their respective careers as they prepare to do battle for a first international trophy since the World Cup in 1966.
England, who are yet to concede a goal from open play at the Euros, have exceeded all expectations in reaching the final.
They booked their place in Sunday’s historic fixture with a hard-fought win over Denmark after extra-time on Wednesday evening, with Harry Kane’s late goal under the lights at Wembley setting up a long-awaited date with destiny.
Italy are now the only team standing between England and a maiden continental triumph and the Azzurri will be hoping to spoil the party and stop football from coming home with a strong performance in the final.
Roberto Mancini’s men will go into the match off the back of a 33-game unbeaten streak that began in 2018.
The 56-year-old’s squad is bursting at the seams with top-class talent, but Phillips has singled out Jorginho and Verratti as the two biggest threats to England’s young side as they seek a first major tournament victory over Italy on Sunday.
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“I have played against Jorginho,” the Leeds United man told reporters. “An amazing player, especially for Chelsea.
“A player who is very good on the ball, using his body to get away from people. There are going to be a lot of different challenges that Italy are going to cause us.
“Verratti is an amazing player as well. I have always admired Verratti. With their two midfielders it is as difficult as it gets.
“We know it is going to be a very tough game. To come up against those two midfielders is going to be the hardest test we’ve had.”
It remains to be seen whether Southgate will field an unchanged side against Italy or look to switch things up in search of a successful outcome on the biggest stage of them all.
England switched to a five-at-the-back system for the visit of Germany in their first knockout stage match but reverted to their usual 4-2-3-1 formation for the wins over Ukraine and Denmark.
City forward Phil Foden could be a doubt for Sunday’s final after he was absent from his side’s training session on Saturday morning, but Southgate is not understood to have any other injury concerns to deal with ahead of the fixture.
The England boss touched on the historic nature of his side’s Euros campaign when speaking to the media on Friday, declaring that supporters have every right to be proud of their nation regardless of the result against the Italians.
“There are different aspects to it, but at heart I go back to the values that my parents gave me and treating people as you would want to be treated, and just [being] respectful really,” said Southgate.
“But also people have tried to invade us and we’ve had the courage to hold that back. You can’t hide that some of the energy in the stadium against Germany was because of that.
“I never mentioned that to the players, but I know that’s part of what that story was.
“We have so many things here that we should be proud of that we probably underestimate, that maybe if we were living in other countries we always see what’s good about them, but we are always looking at the negatives of our own country.
“Yet we have got so much to be proud of. For an island our size, we’ve got an incredible influence on the world and we’ve got to keep that in a positive way.”
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