Today is the day, folks.
Today is the day where Italy can win a major international tournament again.
It’s been a long road to get to this point, one that has involved twists and turns and thankfully plenty of performances lately that have made us try to forget about those happenings in 2017 and everything to do with the Azzurri’s manager before the current one.
Now, facing England in London, Italy will try to do something they haven’t done since the 2006 World Cup: win a tournament final.
Wembley will be a madhouse because of who’s in the final and playing against Italy. If you thought the atmosphere for England’s semifinal against Denmark was bonkers, just wait until the angst starts to get ramped up and the anxiety starts flowing. If you think it’s been a while since Italy last won a major tournament, go ahead and look up how long it has been for England.
(Hint: A lot longer than most of us have been alive.)
For Italy, this will a different game than it was in the semifinal against Spain. That’s just a given seeing as how Spain and England respectively play their games more often than not. That means for Italy, first and foremost, they are likely to see a whole lot more of the ball as compared to a few days ago when Spain dominated possession and essentially had the Azzurri going back to their roots and playing counterattacking football.
All of this could equate to Italy being the No. 1 purpose as to why the anxiety levels at Wembley are going through the roof and out onto the streets.
It sure would be nice, wouldn’t it?
This day on the calendar, July 11, has been kind to Italy in the past when playing in the final of a major tournament. So let’s just hope that this game ends up looking a whole lot more like the 1982 World Cup final as compared to the last time Italy played in a final at the Euros.
When: 9 p.m. in Italy and across Europe; 8 p.m. local time in England and the United Kingdom; 3 p.m. on the East Coast; 12 p.m. on the West Coast
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Italy starting XI: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne
Italy bench: Sirigu, Meret, Locatelli, Belotti, Berardi, Pessina, Acerbi, Cristante, Bernardeschi, Bastoni, Florenzi, Toloi
England starting XI: Pickford; Walker, Maguire, Stones; Trippier, Rice, Phillips, Shaw; Mount, Kane, Sterling
England bench: Ramsdale, Johnstone, Grealish, Henderson, Rashford, Mings, Coady, Sancho, Calvert-Lewin, James, Saka, Bellingham
HOW TO WATCH
Television: ESPN, TUDN USA, Univision (United States); TSN1, TSN4, TVA Sports, CTV (Canada); BBC One, ITV 1 UK, STV Scotland (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Sport Football, RAI 1 (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+, fuboTV, TUDN.com, TUDN app, Univision NOW (United States); TSN.ca, TSN app, CTV app (Canada); BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport Web, The ITV Hub (United Kingdom); RaiPlay, SKY Go Italia, NOW TV (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.