Date: 9th July 2021 at 2:33pm
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On Sunday, Gareth Southgate’s side will participate in England men’s senior team’s first tournament final since, you guessed it, 1966.

Optimism and excitement has never been higher and the only downside to the whole tournament so far is the fact coronavirus restrictions meant Wembley could only hold 65,000 rather than 90,000 fans.

The nation is believing once more and this England side have so far overcome every single obstacle put in front of them…. but can they beat the Italians?

We take a look at three interesting footballing omens which suggest Southgate’s side can see off Roberto Mancini’s meticulous and ruthless Italian side to seal a first ever European Championship.

Chelsea’s Champions League triumph:

Can England replicate Chelsea’s success?

Thomas Tuchel’s side overcame Pep Guardiola’s Man City winning machine to bring the big eared trophy back to London for the second time.

However, when Chelsea last won the biggest club competition in Europe, Italy got all the way to the final of the 2012 European Championship just a couple of months later, where they were soundly beaten 4-0 by a truly sensational Spain side.

It is an interesting coincidence the last time Italy got to a final of a major tournament is when Chelsea won the Champions League – is this a sign that the Italians are set to lose to England?

England’s 4-0 knockout victory against Ukraine: 

Maguire powers home England’s second.

Harry Kane’s brace, Harry Maguire’s bullet header and Jordan Henderson’s first ever goal for England sealed a magnificent 4-0 victory against Ukraine in the quarter-finals.

Not only was it a sensational performance at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, it was also the first time since, you guessed it again, 1966 the Three Lions scored four goals in a knockout match.

When football came home 55 years ago, England beat Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final to lift the Jules Rimmet trophy for the first and only time in their history.

England had not scored four goals in a knockout match since, until their fantastic victory over Andriy Shevchenko’s side.

Pure coincidence, or a sign Southgate’s men will find their way past Italy to bring the European Championship’s back to Wembley for the first time..?

Southgate’s watertight defence: 

Attack wins you matches, defence wins you titles. Will this be proved by England?

It is undeniable there were teams in the tournament who played prettier football than England – unfortunately for them this is not a beauty contest and the Three Lions are in the final because of their watertight displays.

Mikkel Damsgaard’s spectacular free-kick for Denmark was the first goal England had conceded in the Euros.

The 2-0 victory against Germany marked the first time England had kept four clean sheets in their opening four matches of a major tournament since 1966.

England went on to break their clean sheet record by keeping a fifth consecutive clean sheet against Ukraine in the very next match.

The Three Lions are also yet to concede in open play and have proved to be impenetrable – is this another sign football is coming home?

Only Sunday will tell.

 
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