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Italy ready to test England's mettle

Roy Hodgson remains unbeaten in his five games as England manager but will face his biggest test yet against Italy in the last UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final tie in Kyiv.

David Beckham, Graeme Le Saux and Ian Wright celebrate England's qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup
David Beckham, Graeme Le Saux and Ian Wright celebrate England's qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup ©Getty Images

England will look to maintain their unbeaten record under Roy Hodgson when they take on Italy in the last UEFA EURO 2012 quarter-final in Kyiv.

• Hodgson led England to first place in Group D but now faces an Italy side also unbeaten at this EURO, having finished runners-up in Group C.

• It is the teams' first meeting for ten years and only once before have they met at a UEFA European Championship final tournament, Italy winning 1-0 in 1980 to eliminate England.

• The winners will play Germany in the semi-finals in Warsaw on 28 June.

Head-to-head record
• Italy took nine attempts to beat England for the first time, Fabio Capello scoring in a 2-0 home friendly victory in 1973. The Azzurri nevertheless hold a slight head-to-head advantage with a record of W9 D6 L7.

• Although the nations first played in 1933 they did not meet in a competitive fixture until 1978 FIFA World Cup qualifying, trading 2-0 home wins – but it was Italy who made it to Argentina. The Azzurri have won four of their six competitive meetings, England just one.

Selected previous meetings
27 March 2002: England 1-2 Italy (Fowler 63; Montella 67, 90pen) – Elland Road, Leeds, friendly
England: Martyn (James 46), Mills (G Neville 46), Campbell (King 46), Southgate (Ehiogu 46), Bridge (P Neville 87), Beckham (Murphy 46), Lampard (J Cole 46), Butt (Hargreaves 46), Sinclair (Sheringham 70), Owen (Vassell 46), Heskey (Fowler 46).
Italy: Buffon, Cannavaro, Materazzi (Iuliano 57), Nesta (Adani 82), Zambrotta, Panucci (Coco 74), Doni (Tommasi 74), Di Biagio (Gattuso 57), Zanetti (Albertini 57), Totti (Montella 46), Delvecchio (Maccarone 74).

• Vincenzo Montella's double overturned Robbie Fowler's goal in the countries' most recent encounter, from which Gianluigi Buffon is the only survivor. Demetrio Albertini, now Italian Football Federation vice-president, appeared as a substitute.

11 October 1997: Italy 0-0 England – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, FIFA World Cup, qualifier
Italy: Peruzzi, Nesta, Cannavaro, Costacurta, Maldini (Benarrivo 31), Di Livio, Albertini, D Baggio, Inzaghi (Chiesa 46), Vieri, Zola (Del Piero 62).
England: Seaman, Campbell, Adams, Southgate, Beckham, Batty, Ince, Gascoigne (Butt 87), Le Saux, Sheringham, I Wright.

• England avenged a 1-0 home defeat earlier in this qualifying campaign by earning the draw that took them to the 1998 World Cup as group winners and left Italy to qualify via the play-offs. Hodgson was in Rome with Glenn Hoddle's squad and helped out as Hoddle's interpreter.

• Gianfranco Zola, then of Chelsea FC, had scored the only goal of the first game at Wembley on 12 February 1997, securing Italy's first away win against England since 1973 when they were 1-0 victors in a friendly.

7 July 1990: Italy 2-1 England (R Baggio 72, Schillaci 86pen; Platt 82) – Stadio San Nicola, Bari, FIFA World Cup, third-place play-off
Italy: Zenga, Bergomi, Ferrara, Baresi, Vierchowod, Maldini, Giannini (Ferri 90), Ancelotti, De Agostini (Berti 67), R Baggio, Schillaci.
England: Shilton, Stevens, Parker, Walker, M Wright (Waddle 71), Dorigo, McMahon (Webb 71), Platt, Steven, Beardsley, Lineker.

• Italy claimed the bronze medal at their home World Cup thanks to Salvatore Schillaci's late penalty, which secured him the Golden Shoe.

15 June 1980: Italy 1-0 England (Tardelli 79) – Stadio Communale, Turin, 1980 UEFA European Championship, group stage
Italy: Zoff, Gentile, Collovati, Scirea, Tardelli, Causio (Baresi 88), Oriali, Benetti, Antognoni, Bettega, Graziani.
England: Shilton, Neal, Watson, Thompson, Sansom, Coppell, Wilkins, Kennedy, Keegan, Birtles (Mariner 75), Woodcock.

• Italy's narrow victory in their second game of the 1980 finals ended English hopes of finishing as group winners and reaching the final. Enzo Bearzot's hosts eventually finished second in the section behind Belgium and lost the third-place play-off to Czechoslovakia.

Form guide
• England have posted four wins and one draw under Hodgson and are now looking to reach only their second UEFA European Championship semi-final since 1968.

• England's quarter-final record is two wins and two defeats:
1968 Spain 1-0 h, 2-1 a (3-1 agg)
1972 West Germany 1-3 h, 0-0 a (1-3 agg)
1996 Spain 0-0 (aet, 4-2 pens)
2004 Portugal 2-2 (aet, 5-6 pens)

• European champions in 1968, Italy have a 50% success rate in EURO quarter-finals:
1968 Bulgaria 2-3 a, 2-0 h (4-3 agg)
1972 Belgium 0-0 h, 1-2 a (1-2 agg)
2000 Romania 2-0
2008 Spain 0-0 (aet, 2-4 pens)

• When Italy finished fourth in 1980 and reached the semi-final in 1988, there was no quarter-final stage.

Team ties
• Hodgson has had coaching spells in Italy at FC Internazionale Milano (1995-97, 1999) and Udinese Calcio (2001). In 1999, when serving briefly as caretaker coach back at Inter, he worked with Andrea Pirlo.

• Hodgson faced Italy four times as Switzerland coach, posting one win, one draw and two defeats. In 1994 World Cup qualifying, his Switzerland side earned a 2-2 draw in Cagliari and then won 1-0 in Berne before two 1-0 friendly defeats.

• Hodgson enjoyed a famous win against Juventus during Fulham FC's run to the 2010 UEFA Europa League final, overturning a 3-1 first-leg loss with a 4-1 home victory in the round of 16. Claudio Marchisio played for Juventus in the first leg.

• As a Juventus player, Cesare Prandelli suffered a 1979/80 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal FC but beat Manchester United FC at the same stage of the 1983/84 edition. He came off the bench for the last six minutes of Juventus's 1984/85 European Champion Clubs' Cup final victory over Liverpool FC.

• Prandelli's ACF Fiorentina side beat Everton FC 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16. Riccardo Montolivo – a scorer in the Viola's 2-0 first-leg win – converted his spot kick in the shoot-out, while Phil Jagielka had his penalty saved. Joleon Lescott was also in Everton's team and Leighton Baines on the bench.

• Steven Gerrard headed the first goal when Liverpool fought back to draw 3-3 draw with Pirlo's AC Milan and win the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League final on penalties. Pirlo's deflected free-kick off scorer Filippo Inzaghi helped Milan avenge that defeat in the 2007 showpiece.

• Wayne Rooney has struck ten goals in 14 UEFA Champions League appearances for Manchester United against Italian clubs. This included four goals in a 7-2 aggregate win against Pirlo's Milan in the 2009/10 round of 16 – although he was also on the losing side against them in the 2006/07 semi-finals despite finding the net twice in the first leg.

• Rooney has scored four times in six appearances against Daniele De Rossi's AS Roma – including one goal in a 7-1 quarter-final win at Old Trafford in 2006/07 when De Rossi got the visitors' goal. De Rossi missed a penalty at the same stadium when Roma lost at the same stage in 2007/08.

• John Terry scored in Chelsea FC's 4-1 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second-leg victory against SSC Napoli in March. Ashley Cole was also in Chelsea's lineup, while Morgan de Sanctis and Christian Maggio featured for Napoli. The Italy pair played against Manchester City FC's Joe Hart, James Milner and Lescott in the group stage.

• Theo Walcott got the winner in both legs of Arsenal's UEFA Champions League play-off success against Udinese Calcio last August. Antonio Di Natale scored but also had a penalty saved in Udinese's 3-1 aggregate loss.

• Mario Balotelli has been a team-mate of Hart, Lescott and Milner at Manchester City since 2010, winning the FA Cup in 2011 and the club's first league title since 1968 a year later.

• Alessandro Diamanti played alongside Robert Green and Scott Parker at West Ham United FC in 2009/10.

• Fabio Borini was as a youth player at Chelsea and made four Premier League substitute appearances as a team-mate of Terry and Cole. He also had a three-month loan at Swansea City AFC in 2011.

• Ashley Young, Baines and Milner were in the England team that drew 2-2 with the Italy of Giorgio Chiellini, Antonio Nocerino and Montolivo at the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

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