Paul Higham’s stats column for Suday picks out two Italians who could see yellow against England in the Euro 2020 final…
Italy v England
Sunday 11 July 20:00 BST kick-off
Live on BBC One & ITV
It’s here! The Euro 2020 final at Wembley will see England look to end 55 years of waiting when they take on Italy.
Will football be coming home? Well, the Three Lions are favourites given home advantage, their stellar squad and Gareth Southgate’s excellent management, tactics and clarity of thinking.
For more on the game itself read our in-depth preview on the Euro 2020 final.
Right here in this column though we’re always looking for stats-based value and with the help of Betfair’s Bet Builder let’s try and pick out a winner for the big game at Wembley.
Let’s start with some bookings, and there’s a fantastic reason why Marco Verratti will see yellow at a price of 2.89/5 – even beyond the footballing one as he’s been booked already this tournament and will be in the heat of battle in that midfield engine room against England.
Even better though, is the fact that Bjorn Kuipers is the referee who booked Verratti is PSG’s Champions League loss to Man City, and also incidentally allegedly told the Italian to f*** off during an ill-tempered game.
Let’s hope Dutch referees hold grudges…
I don’t really trusting either of Italy’s full-backs for this game with Emerson standing in at left-back and right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo both likely in for tough nights with the likes of Sterling, Saka or Sancho coming at them, not to mention either Shaw or Walker from full-back.
It’ll be Di Lorenzo though who has to deal with England’s star man Sterling and top assist maker Shaw, and most likely Grealish at some stage too! He’s made a team-leading 11 fouls this tournament and struggled against Belgium’s Jeremy Doku and his running ability.
Di Lorenzo has been beaten five times in nine attempted dribbles against him, while Sterling is the top dribbler in the tournament with 18 successful take-ons from 32 attempts.
4.57/2 for a Di Lorenzo booking looks a gift.
Those two Italians coupled together in a Bet Builder on the sportsbook come out at around a 10.09/1 double.