ENGLAND v ITALY: THREE BRAVE LIONS v 11 ROMAN WARRIORSJune 22nd, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized
Against all expectations, they turned up in Poland and Ukraine for Euro 2012 and started playing as a team. Against all the injuries and suspensions to key players, they won their respective group. Against all hope, they’ve actually turned out to better than most people thought. Yep, the England team at Euro 2012 have actually done all right, you know.
Those pre-tournament low expectations that fans had are the new, fashionable high expectations, as England continue to surprise at Euro 2012 over in Ukraine and Poland. After topping Group D ahead of former champions France, hosts Ukraine and traditional tournament foes Sweden, England have done it the hard way, putting in admirable stubborn defensive displays along with quick counter attacking forays against all oppositions to much delight, delirium and downright surprise.
However, for all their heroics, England face their toughest test so far in the guise of Italy in the Quarter-Finals of the Euros, in Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, this Sunday.
Roy Hodgson’s men will be hoping that Wayne Rooney will be feeling fitter and faster after his return from suspension from Ukraine, where he scored the winner, and that they use their new found confidence and team spirit to overcome an Italian side that has already given current World and European champions, Spain, a run for their money. It promises to be an interesting affair, with both teams renowned for defensive solidity, though the Italians are without their main man and one of the tournament’s best centre backs, Giorgio Chiellini and will be wary of the ability of Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young to stretch a defence that might feature midfield general Daniele De Rossi playing in a unfamiliar role as centre back.
However, it won’t be an easy game for either team, if anything, it takes a hell of a lot to get anything past Italy’s’ No.1 Gianluigi Buffon, and the persistent Italian strikers will find it hard to break down an England defence that feels invincible at the moment.
Whatever the outcome, one thing is for sure – two teams, three games away from glory, the Italians will want to instill some pride into the Azzurri blue after the recent Serie A match-fixing scandal , whilst the England, well, they just want to make the three lions roar for once – and they have a great chance to do so and be heard this Sunday.