England shoulder the weight of a nation ahead of their European Championship final debut on Sunday, but Italy are also under pressure as they seek a second continental crown.
Roberto Mancini’s side have earned major plaudits as arguably the best performers at Euro 2020 thus far, beating Spain in a penalty shootout to reach the tournament’s decider.
And Sky Sports reported a ‘leaked’ Italy XI shows former Manchester City chief Mancini will name the same team that started the semi-final when they return to Wembley.
The 4-3-3 setup succeeded in keeping La Roja at bay until substitute Alvaro Morata cancelled out Federico Chiesa’s with only 10 minutes of normal time remaining.
If accurate, the report suggests Chiesa—tied with four team-mates on two goals at Euro 2020—has overcome any injury concerns that may have led to his extra-time withdrawal during the win over Spain.
The Juventus forward has emerged as a critical member of Italy’s campaign after starting as a bench option, netting two vital goals in their three knockout fixtures.
He’s on track to start in attack alongside Lazio frontman Ciro Immobile and Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne as the 1968 European champions prepare for their fourth continental final.
Emerson Palmieri is also set to continue at left-back in place of the injured Leonardo Spinazzola, who suffered a nightmare hamstring injury during the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Belgium.
Do you think Italy's semi-final XI is good enough to beat England to Euro 2020 glory? Let us know in the comments section.
Chelsea team-mate Jorginho will also keep his starting spot alongside PSG’s Marco Verratti and Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella, who make up a devastating midfield trio.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo is expected to remain at right-back while Gianluigi Donnarumma unsurprisingly keeps his place between the posts.
The Juventus centre-back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci will also have a big say in how much success Harry Kane sees on the night.
Chiellini was accused of ‘bullying’ Spain captain Jordi Alba prior to the semi-final shootout, although the Azzurri captain has said his actions were misconstrued.
The 36-year-old pushed and hugged Alba while the coin was flipped to decide which end of the pitch the penalties would be taken, but Chiellini explained: "A lot more has been said than what actually happened in reality.
"We had to decide the end where the shootout would take place and the referee said ‘red on one side, blue on the other’.
"When he saw the red side [of the coin], Jordi [Alba] thought that it meant his end, but I pointed it out jokingly that it wasn’t the case."
England will have their work cut out for them as they look to end a 55-year wait for major silverware, having not been to a final since the country’s famous 1966 World Cup win.
Italy are unbeaten in 33 games—a national team record—although they have conceded in each of their last three games, while England have leaked just one all tournament.
Gareth Southgate’s preparations for the final were rocked after a ‘minor injury’ to Phil Foden meant the Man City midfielder sat out Saturday’s training sessions at St George's Park.
Foden, 21, started in both of England’s first two group games against Croatia and Scotland, with a good chance he would have been involved in some capacity against Italy.
Expected Italy XI for Euro 2020 final (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Emerson, Chiellini, Bonucci; Jorginho, Verratti, Barella; Chiesa, Insigne, Immobile
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