England now face Italy in Euro 2020 final but history's against Gareth Southgate in our biggest game for 55 years

ITALY stand in the way of England winning their first ever European Championships – and their first trophy since 1966.

And Gareth Southgate and co will be hoping history doesn't repeat itself as the country gears up for our biggest game for 55 years.




England have won just ONE major tournament – the stunning 4-2 victory against West Germany to win the 1966 World Cup.

But now captain Harry Kane has the chance to lead his troops into the record books – against the Italians on Sunday in front of60,000 screaming fans at Wembley Stadium.

England were magnificent as they laid the semi-final curse to rest with a fantastic 2-1 victory over Denmark on Wednesday night at Wembley.

But can they go one step further… and win their first tournament for 55 years?

At least England can boast a 100% winning record in finals – played one, won one.

WHAT'S THE HISTORY?

England have NEVER beaten Italy in a major tournament.

The last time they faced each other was at the 2014 World Cup, with the Italians winning 2-1.

Claudio Marchisio had fired Italy ahead in the 35th minute, but Daniel Sturridge replied within 120 seconds.

But Mario Balotelli was the matchwinner with his 50th-minute strike.

In four tournament games, Italy have proved victorious every time: the 1980 and 2012 Euros and the 1990 World Cup.





WHAT HAVE ITALY BEEN LIKE?

Roberto Mancini's side have undoubtedly been one of the best sides in the tournament.

They won all three group games without conceding a goal

Italy beat Turkey 3-0, Switzerland 3-0 and Wales 1-0 in Group A.

Austria were dispatched 2-1 in the last-16, then Belgium by the same score in the quarters.

The semi-final was an energy-sapping one, with Mancini's men edging past Spain on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

England will be hoping there are some heavy legs in blue.


WHO'S BEEN THEIR BEST PLAYER?

Leonardo Spinazzola has been a revelation in a marauding wing-back role.

But good news England fans – the 28-year-old Roma star is OUT.

Spinazzola came off injured against Belgium and has already undergone an Achilles operation.

Marco Verratti has suffered his own injury problems, but is shining in the middle of the park.

And forward Federico Chiesa is bang in form having scored a beauty in the semi-final win against Spain.


ITALY ALREADY RECORD-BREAKERS

The Azzurri are now unbeaten in 33 games following their nervy penalty shootout win against Spain.

Memories of failing to even qualify for the 2018 World Cup have been pushed to the back of the mind by Mancini's resurgence.

The former Manchester City boss has galvanised the squad – opting to give players from some of the lesser-known Serie A sides their chance.

And it's worked a treat. Italy have won their last 13 games in all competitions.


REMINDER- ENGLAND'S PATH TO THE FINAL

Southgate led the Three Lions to two wins and a draw in Group D – all without conceding a goal.

Raheem Sterling scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win against Croatia, before a dour 0-0 against the Auld Enemy Scotland.

Sterling was again the match-winner in a 1-0 triumph against the Czech Republic that saw England top the group.

The nation sent into euphoria when Sterling and Harry Kane netted in a 2-0 last 16 win against Germany.

Ukraine were swatted aside 4-0 in the quarters – Kane bagging two goals with Harry Maguire and Jordan Henderson getting the others.

And then Kane scored the vital goal as England beat Denmark 2-1 in the semi-final on Wednesday night.


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