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England will face off against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley this Sunday.
On paper, England player for player has a stronger side, with more depth off the bench, while also boasting strength in every position.
Italy has a great starting xi, managed by the tactical prowess of Roberto Mancini that has seen them reach new heights after their 2018 World Cup debacle.
Coming into this match, we decided to see what an England and Italy combined XI would look like.
Combined Starting XI
GK: Gianluigi Donnarumma
The 20-year-old Italian giant has been a revolution since his debut in 2015 at the age of 17 for AC Milan. He is currently a free agent, with reports suggesting he is on his way to French outfit PSG.
Performance-wise Donnarumma has been levels above the Everton keeper at this tournament. Commanding in his box from set-pieces and making crucial saves against Austria and Spain has seen his team reach their first Euro final since 2012.
RB: Kyle Walker
While Giovanni Di Lorenzo has done well this tournament and has laid a claim for a team of the tournament, he falls in comparison to Kyle Walker, who overall, is a much better player at right-back. Boasting pace, an attacking threat and has incredible passing, he has to get into this team. Although his tackling and defensive awareness at times can come into question.
CB: Giorgio Chiellini
At the heart of the Italian defence, the 36-year-old veteran does not play like a player of his age should. Lacking in pace, he makes up for it in experience, leadership and gives the Italian side a presence at the back along with his partner. Never diving into tackles and with a world-class ability to deliver picture-perfect long balls from the back is an underrated attribute the Juventus man has. He is simply a colossus at the back.
CB: Leonardo Bonucci
The Ying to Chiellini’s Yang, Bonucci has been a mainstay in the Italian defence for years. Playing all six matches this tournament, he has shown no signs of slowing down. His technical ability is one of his best attributes, often playing the ball on the ground with great passing.
Along with being strong defensively and a presence for set-pieces, his partnership with Chiellini cannot be questioned.
LB: Luke Shaw
Based on form Luke Shaw is the best left-back in the world, having an exceptional season with Manchester United, he has played every game of the tournament since his exclusion from the opening game against Croatia.
His ability to constantly overlap helps England stretch teams out wide with his pace. He has also contributed to a couple of England’s goals, the Ukraine game in particular, notching up two assists.
The deep-lying midfielder has carried on his late-season from Chelsea with solid performances all throughout the tournament.
Referred to as a ”regista” by many, the Champions League winner has been a stalwart in the Italian defence, attempting 426 passes and completing 399, giving him an incredible return of 93% passing accuracy.
He scored the winning penalty in the Italian’s semi-final win over Spain and is one of the first names on Roberto Mancini’s team sheet.
CM: Marco Verratti
Mancini’s main man for creativity, Verratti’s dribbling and acute ability to progress the ball forward from tight spaces have seen him provide two assists from his four tournament appearances.
One of the best-performing midfielders in the world last season, he is in contention for Player of the Tournament.
CM: Jack Grealish
The Aston Villa captain has been discussed at length this tournament, opinions sway on if his inclusion is warranted with the vast amount of talent at England’s disposal, and if he fits Southgate’s style.
He should be one of the first names on the team sheet and going by his performances in an England shirt when he has been selected, you can see why there has been an outcry from fans.
His professionalism has been one of his greatest feats this tournament, reliable off the bench and opening up defences with his ability to find space from deep. He has provided two assists from four games.
He has to start.
LM: Raheem Sterling
England’s Player of the Tournament thus far, Sterling has proved many doubters wrong with his performances.
He has played all six matches, scoring three goals and assisting one. Most of his goals have been game-winning goals.
He will be most remembered for his controversial fall in the semi-final against Denmark which saw him win a penalty that saw them make the final on Sunday.
RM: Lorenzo Insigne
On the right flank of the attack is the pacey and skilful Lorenzo Insigne. He has been in tremendous form for Gli Azzurri.
Notching up two goals in five matches, while attempting 14 shots from open play, six of which were on target.
His highlight of the tournament is his wonder-goal versus Belgium in the quarter-final, a goal that is in contention for the goal of the tournament.
ST: Harry Kane
No questions can be asked with Kane’s inclusion. The Tottenham striker is on par if not better than Robert Lewandowski as an out-and-out striker.
Kane is a goal-machine, and after a timid start, has notched up four goals from three games and is in contention to win his second back-to-back Golden Boot at a major tournament.
He could be rewarded his first-ever major team honour on Sunday.