This is a preview of the Euro 2012 quarter final between England & Italy.
Daniele De Rossi has been key for Italy’s defensive fortunes
- Both England and Italy will have thought this is the best result that could have come for either one of them, as this is the opponent that they would have liked to face in this round of the competition.
- England is coming into this game after topping their group and grabbing 7 points out of a possible of 9, and are looking to make it to the semi-final for the first time in 16 years.
- England’s captain Steven Gerrard has been the lynch pin for the team, as he has created 3 out of 5 goals and has done a good job protecting the backline along with Parker.
- Wayne Rooney returned from his suspension and looked lively, and ultimately netting a goal as well.
- Englands defense has looked a bit fragile especially with John Terry playing in his uncomfortable position of RCB instead of LCB, and this has resulted in him being out of position many times, and them scrambling to clear the ball.
- Italy had started out this campaign marred by controversy, but had soon managed to get away from it through some solid performances on the field.
- Cassano, Di Natale, Pirlo and Balotelli have been particularly impressive in the early going of this campaign, all netting goals to help the team up to this stage of the competition.
- The Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has had an outstanding tournament so far, and looks one of the only goal keepers who has command of his goal – was unfortunate to concede against Spain and even Croatia for 2 draws.
- Danielle de Rossi has been the surprise strong point of the defense for Italy, and been holding them quite steadily till date, and is expected to continue.
- Both teams will be under pressure not to concede early, as the matches in this tournament have shown that 1 goal itself, could be enough to seal the deal – so could be forced to clear the ball in anyway possible.
- Both teams have strikers in form, through the regular season in their domestic competitions, and will be looking to push for more goals in todays encounter, which see a lot of shots on target, that might be cleared off.
- With Italy and England not having natural wide players on the flanks, any player found with the ball, could be looking for a corner to score of a set piece – as both teams have shown to be excellent scorers of set pieces in this competition.
Over 9.5 corners @ 1.67 – 7 points (Stan James)
Over 10.5 corners @ 2.10 – 3 points (Betfair)