Sunday World

Uefa’s Euro soccer fest as England, Italy square

Hope on Sterling to bring bacon to England

- By Xolile Mtshazo

The football world’s Super Sunday showpiece pits England against Italy in the Uefa’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley in London this evening at 8pm.

The English will be out to redeem themselves after a 55- year internatio­nal trophy drought. They last won the World Cup in 1966. Fourtime world champions Italy, who last won the Euro in 1968, are four-time Euro finalists. They go into this final equally hungry to lift the trophy as much as the English. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was just two years old when the English beat West Germany to lift the World Cup in 1966.

It will be up to Three Lions striker Raheem Sterling, a man familiar with Wembley as he grew up a stone’s throw from the stadium, to bring in his African roots brilliance to the match.

Despite losing his starting place at City last season, Sterling has been a key player in this tournament, with his speed, dribbling ability and three goals to his credit. Sterling will be carrying the English hopes of winning the elusive trophy. Gary Lineker is England’s jointtop scorer in major tournament­s with 10 goals in World Cups and Euro During this Euro he continued banging important goals that made him Premier League leading marksman for the third time in 2020/21 season. With their solid defence, the Azzurri of Italy will have to content with the might and rampaging English forwards in Kane and Sterling, and that is where the likes of defenders Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will be called to distinguis­h themselves.

Bonucci belongs to the era of Christian Vieri, Andrea Pirlo and Zlatan Ibrahimovi­c,

His partnershi­p with Giorgio Chiellini is deadly. However, it is Jorginho’s Brazilian football brains in the Italians’ midfield that could win it for the Azzurri.

Italy are currently on a 33-match unbeaten run, and if they do manage to extend this run for another game, the European Championsh­ip will head to Italy.

Italy on an incredible 33-match unbeaten run

 ?? /Getty Images ?? England’s Raheem Sterling is expected to run rings around Italy’s defence as his country looks forward to end a 55-year trophy drought in the final at the Wembley Stadium tonight.
/Getty Images England’s Raheem Sterling is expected to run rings around Italy’s defence as his country looks forward to end a 55-year trophy drought in the final at the Wembley Stadium tonight.
 ?? /Getty Images ?? Lorenzo Insigne of Italy will provide difficult moments for England.
/Getty Images Lorenzo Insigne of Italy will provide difficult moments for England.
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