Michael Owen reveals his prediction for England v Italy in Euro 2020 final
Michael Owen looks ahead to Sunday's Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley
Michael Owen is backing England to win Euro 2020 by beating Italy after extra-time in Sunday’s final at Wembley.
The Three Lions are preparing to take on Roberto Mancini’s men at Wembley as they look to win the European championships for the first team and lift their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
England booked their spot in the final thanks to a 2-1 extra-time win over Denmark in midweek, while Italy progressed after a penalty shootout win over Spain in the semi-finals.
Italy have twice lost in the Euros final since triumphing in Rome in 1968, while England have made it through a Euro semi-final for the first time after losing in the last four in 1968 – in Italy – and as hosts in 1996.
This is only England’s second major tournament final, the other also coming on home soil – the famous 4-2 extra-time win against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.
Former England and Liverpool FC star Owen is backing the Three Lions to triumph over Italy on Sunday and is tipping the home side to win the trophy thanks to an extra-time victory.
Writing in his column for BetVictor, Owen said: “The final of Euro 2020 takes place on Sunday evening and it promises to be a truly momentous occasion.
“England’s players have conducted themselves magnificently throughout this tournament and there is nothing like a major tournament at home to galvanise the nation.
“However, as well as England have played so far, they really will need to find another gear if they are to overcome this formidable Italian side who are now unbeaten in 33 games.
“Now, from a teams point of view, I think that England are going to go with a normal formation of a back four. The only big question mark I’ve got for Gareth Southgate is who plays in that attacking role? Is it going to be Sancho or is it going to be Saka, who Gareth Southgate has turned to on most occasions.
“I think he’s probably going to go with the same line-up as the one he played in the semi-finals against Denmark.
“From Italy’s point of view, I must admit, I didn’t expect them to reach this stage of the tournament. However, they have been the stand-out team with some unbelievable team performances and they are a real match for this England team.
“England needed extra-time to get the job done against Denmark in the semi-finals, while Italy were taken to extra time by both Austria and Spain. I can see this being a tense, nervy affair with goals at a premium and I am going for this one to finish 1-1 after 90 minutes.
“However, with another incredible set of fans urging them on, I fancy England to finally claim their first major trophy in 55 years with a winner in what will surely be a nerve-jangling extra time.
“As with the Danes in the semi-finals, I’m going with 1-1 after 90 minutes and 2-1 to the Three Lions after extra time.”
There has been little between the teams over the years, Italy winning 10 of their 27 fixtures to England’s eight, although the Three Lions have netted 33 goals, which is two more than the Azzurri.