Gianluca Zambrotta: Italy must use the tension in the right way
Sunday, 11 July 2021
EURO2020.com columnist Gianluca Zambrotta highlights the details that could be decisive for Italy in the final against England.
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Here we are. I expect a very open final. Italy will have to play their own game, just as they always have. They will have to try to impose their game. Sometimes they have succeeded and sometimes they haven't, but that can happen on a journey as challenging as a European Championship. The important thing is to bring home good results and move forward.
The Azzurri shouldn't be afraid of England and playing in front of their fans at Wembley Stadium, an arena with great history. They'll have to use the tension in the right way. They will have to be focused and make good use of the midfield with Nicolò Barella, Jorginho and Marco Verratti, and use the flanks with Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne.
In attack, I would definitely play Ciro Immobile again. Although he perhaps hasn't been at his best, he has always contributed a great deal to the team, sacrificing himself, offering support, troubling the central defenders. I would definitely trust him again.
On the other side of the pitch are an England team playing at home, having not won an important trophy for a long time. That can be a double-edged sword; a 12th man on the pitch or an extra source of tension and pressure, especially if the game does not go the way they want. However, I expect a good final at the end of a beautiful European Championship played by both teams.
The duel between Harry Kane and Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will be great to watch. The Azzurri centre-backs have been fantastic at the tournament. Raheem Sterling has also been extraordinary; he's a player who always pushes hard on the accelerator. Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Emerson, Chiesa and Insigne will all have to help each other. These are the weapons that Italy will have to use to achieve success: defend and attack as a team.
It's difficult to say who will win. Clearly, I hope that Italy will. I believe that the best teams in the tournament have reached the final. Italy were spectacular in the group stage, then they knew how to suffer. England have conceded only one goal, they were perhaps the most solid side from a defensive point of view. It's hard to say who will come out on top.