Euro 2020 Final: What Do the Odds Say We Should Expect from Italy v England?

The Euro 2020 Final has finally arrived in mid-2021, and it’ll see the enigmatic Italians take on the stalwart English in a battle for the crown.

Not only is this a major trophy to win in itself, but the Euros are often seen as a precursor for World Cup success – especially this year, as the Qatar World Cup is a mere 16 months away.

Here, we’re previewing the final through the eyes of the oddsmakers for betting on Italy v England, as well as how the two sides look set to face off stylistically.

The Bookies Think the 55-year Wait Is Over

Euro 2020 Final: What Do the Odds Say We Should Expect from Italy v England?

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Getting stuck into the business end of the odds, the bookies foresee a very close game that will, ultimately, result in the Henri Delaunay Trophy coming to England for the very first time. It’s the nation’s first final since the 1966 World Cup, with Southgate’s team being given odds of 8/11 to lift the trophy.

The 90 minutes odds see Italy and a draw a 19/10, with England ahead narrowly at 17/10. So, while the pile-on of English betting may have pulled England’s odds in a bit, it’s clear that a close game is expected. This is further reflected in the ‘Method of Victory’ market, which has the shortest odds of 7/2 sitting on either team to win on penalties.

One of the more telling odds is the increased 9/1 (up from 7/1) given for ‘Harry Kane & Ciro Immobile to have two or more shots on target each.’ Both teams are strong defensively for very different reasons, so one perhaps wouldn’t want to back either team’s central striker to get multiple shots on goal in this colossal game. Still, Immobile averages 3.4 shots per game while Kane clocks in with 2.3, according to the Who Scored statistics.

So, such long odds of 9/1 are warranted from this outlook, and they’re further enforced by the fact that, through six games, both goalies have only faced 12 total shots on target. The stats see Gianluigi Donnarumma having faced eight shots on target inside the box, with Jordan Pickford facing eight from outside of the box. This could perhaps add fuel to the 20/1 odds on Lorenzo Insigne to score from outside of the box.

Overall, the odds lean towards a tight game that’s low on goals. This is further enforced by the 4/9 odds for under 2.5 goals, 16/5 odds for Raheem Sterling to score anytime, and 4/1 odds for Federico Chiesa to score anytime.

The Contrasting Styles of Italy V England

England manager Gareth Southgate is well-known for keeping his cards close to his chest tactically. Still, so far, he’s either gone with an ultra-conservative approach with a 4-3-3, or a more attack-minded 4-2-3-1, but both strategies have seen the English fancy possession over forward movement.

The Italians are almost the exact opposite of England. While they also have a sturdy defence, it’s built on ravenous midfielders closing down the ball. From there, they build their play through pass-and-move football, darting runs around and playing the riskier balls in the final third.

Both sides have held over 52 percent of possession overall through their six games, as well as a pass completion percentage in excess of 86 percent, but the two use the ball very differently. It’s certainly a clash of styles, and while Italy’s method of play is more exciting, England’s unadventurous approach has proven to be very tough to break down. They have the talent to snatch at opportunities when permitted to do so by the score line.

It could well prove to be a final that England keeps in check throughout to take penalties or hold onto by a single goal. On the other hand, Italy’s destructive attack could force England to desert their conservative football early, perhaps leading to an end-to-end game or an Italian onslaught. In any case, the oddsmakers see it being close enough to be decided by penalties.

How many goals did Bobby Charlton score for England?

How many goals did Bobby Charlton score for England? Sir Robert ‘Bobby’ Charlton, knighted in 1994 for services to football, is an icon of English football, best remembered for playing alongside his older brother, Jack, in the World Cup-winning side in 1966. Born in Ashingston, Northumberland on October 11, 1937, Bobby Charlton made his England debut, aged 20, in a British Home Championship match against Scotland, at Hampden Park, Glasgow, on April 19, 1958. Indeed, Charlton scored on his debut, bagging the third goal, after 65 minutes, in a 4-0 victory.

Twelve years later, on June 14, 1970, Charlton, aged 32, won his last cap for England in a World Cup quarter-final match against West Germany – a repeat of the previous World Cup final – at Estadio León, León, Mexico. Sadly, there was to be no fairytale ending to his England career; Charlton was replaced by Colin Bell after 70 minutes of the match, in which England surrendered a two-goal lead, eventually losing 3-2 after extra time.

All told, Bobby Charlton won 106 caps for England, almost exclusively as centre forward, under Walter Winterbottom and his successor, Alf Ramsey. Indeed, at the time of his retirement from international football, in 1970, he was most capped player in the history of the national team. Charlton played a total of 9,345 minutes for England and scored 49 goals, thereby setting a record that would stand for 45 years, until broken by Wayne Rooney in 2015.

When was the three-points-for-a-win system introduced into football?

When was the three-points-for-a-win system introduced into football? Three points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a defeat is something that the modern generation of football fans, worldwide, take for granted. However, awarding three points for a win, rather than two, is a recent innovation in the history of association football. The idea was not adopted by FIFA and UEFA, for World Cup and European Championship qualifying, until 1994, but had been put into practice by the Football League, in England, in 1981.

The three-points-for-a-win system was the brainchild of the late Jimmy Hill, a influential figure in English football, best known as a presenter and analyst on ‘Match of the Day’, but also manager, managing director and, eventually, chairman of Coventry City Football Club. Hill had argued, for years, that awarding just two points for a win provided insufficient incentive for teams to play attacking football and try to win matches, rather than settling for a draw, which was worth just one point less. Fast forward four decades and the efficacy of the three-points-for-a-win system remains open to question, with teams more likely to adopt negative tactics, once ahead, rather than going all-out to score more goals. This was famously true of Greece in the 2004 UEFA European Championships. Will bets for the Euro 2020 competition be largely centred around ‘negative play, or goal scoring giants I wonder.

Odds for Euro 2020 are available online for football fans to sink their teeth into Currently France are favourites to win (at 5-1 at time of writing) , with England second favourites at 11/2. It has to be said though that historically England are always on the stingy side when it comes to betting odds because without exception a lot of patriotic betting takes place regardless of the merits or otherwise of the team chosen.  Of course the points system can play a part in who emerges from their group. England has a tantalizing and tough group alongside Croatia, the Czech Republic, and of course Scotland.

It could be argued that changing to a three points system to encourage positive play has not totally upended outcomes when compared to the former two point system. In fact since its introduction the only Premier League winner who wouldn’t have won under the old system is Blackburn Rovers in 1994-5. Under the previous system Manchester United would’ve won. It would’ve been a close call though, as both teams would’ve been on the same amount of points and it the deciding factor would have been a superior goal difference by United.

Prior to his death, Jimmy Hill was long been seen as a ‘character’ and personality of the sport, but it’s surprising that not everyone knows that he’s responsible for the three point system. The next time you hear his name mentioned, perhaps share this interesting fact about the man!

 

What’s the highest score in a FIFA World Cup finals match?

What's the highest score in a FIFA World Cup finals match? The first Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup finals were staged, without qualification, in Uruguay in 1930, long before the modern game or our online casino and sportsbook age. Despite only limited Europen interest, the inaugural finals set the benchmark for high-scoring matches; in their penultimate group match, at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, eventual runners-up Argentina beat Mexico 6-3.

Eight years later, Brazil beat Poland 6-5, after extra time, at Stade de la Meinau, Strasbourg, France, but it was not until Switzerland, in 1954, that nine or more goals were scored, in normal time, in a FIFA World Cup finals match. However, the 1954 tournament produced a glut of goals and set a number of all-time records. In the group stages, eventual winners Hungary, who averaged 5.4 goals per game, beat South Korea 9-0 and eventual runners-up West Germany 8-3.

Nevertheless, it was the quarter-final match between Austria and the hosts Switzerland, at Stade Olympique de la Pontaise in Lausanne on June 16, 1954, which produced the highest aggregate score in FIFA World Cup finals history. In a remarkable match, played in 40°C temperatures and hence dubbed ‘Hitzeschlacht von Lausanne’ or, in English, ‘Heat Battle of Lausanne’, Austria prevailed 7-5, with striker Erich Probst scoring what turned out to be the winning goal after 76 minutes.

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