EURO 2012: England vs Italy
Isaiah EURO 2012: England vs Italy | Match date: Jun 24 2012 Football

England werenít given a lot of credit before the EURO 2012, but as the tournament progresses they are becoming one of first candidates to lift the title at the end of the championship. Many people doubted in their ability for this competition and didnít even give them lots of chances to pass the group stage, but the English side proved opposite. In first round, they were lucky to get a 1:1 draw against France, as the French team was the one who held the ball much more in possession and the one who were attacking more, but the English took the early lead and were probably satisfied with the final 1:1 result. In second game, English side was a bit lucky to win over Sweden 3:2 as they were losing 2:1 during the game, but also leading 1:0. They were a bit lucky, but they also showed great fighting spirit and winning mentality. Finally, in the last game they have won over Ukraine with a narrow 1:0 result, didnít play at a greatest possible level, but showed once again that they know how to win the match even when not playing that well.

Italy finally progressed at the second phase of the tournaments after many speculations regarding Mondayís night game between Croatia and Spain as many people thought the two nations will fix the game for a 2:2 draw, the result that would automatically shut the door to Italians for the next stage. However, it didnít happen and Italians have reached the second stage, also due to their victory over Ireland with 2:0 result. They probably didnít play that game fully focused as it was hard not to think about the other match result at the same time. In two other matches, Italians drew against Spain 1:1 in the group opener. It was a game where Italians could have easily lost, just if the Spanish attacking players had a bit more concentration at the finishing touch. Finally, in a game against Croatia, they were maybe slightly better, but the draw 1:1 was finally the most realistic result. Chiellini will miss this game for Italians and it might represent a bigger problem for them in front of the game.

As said, English side were a bit underestimated at the beginning, but as the tournament progresses Ė I see them getting better and better. Great news for them is that Rooney is in the team once again and have already scored against Ukraine Ė this is surely a great boost for the offensive part of the English side. Italians showed that they lack creative ideas and English defenders know Balotelli very well. English side should be much closer to the victory here and the odds are representing value in this case as the public opinion continue to understand them a bit.