By Tom Robin, EnStarz | Jun 24, 2012 02:21 PM EDT
England vs. Italy takes place Sunday and will confirm who will take the final spot in the Euro 2012 semi finals. The match looks evenly balanced and many pundits are suggesting extra time and even penalties might be on the cards. The game kicks off at 2.45 p.m. EST and can be watched on ESPN, or online through live streaming on ESPN3 (details below).
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England have already exceeded most expectations; most see this England squad as their weakest for decades, especially when their disrupted preparations for the tournament are taken into account. Fabio Capello, England's manager who oversaw a confident qualification campaign resigned months ago, and new manager Roy Hodgson was only installed just over a month before Euro 2012 began. Numerous injuries to top players also hampered England's preparations. However, despite all this, England managed to win their group, which included a French side that was unbeaten in more than 20 games. Now many are giving England even odds on snatching a win in today's quarter final with Italy.
The England team is expected to remain unchanged from the one that started against Ukraine in their final group game - a match they won 1-0 to confirm their spot at the top of Group D. Danny Welbeck will likely start up front alongside talisman Wayne Rooney, with Andy Carroll and Theo Walcott both being left on the bench ready to be used as impact players.
Italy managed to scrap through in Group C, a group which contained world and European champions Spain. They drew their first two games, leaving them on the brink, but they were able to bump Croatia out after Italy beat the Republic of Ireland, and Croatia crashed against Spain in the final round of group games.
Italy have only conceded two goals in the tournament so far, and like all Italian teams will be difficult to break down. It's interesting to note that many pundits have described England's tight playing style under Roy Hodgson as very Italian-like, in that they are well-organized and won't give anything away easily.
Today's final quarter final kicks off at 2.45 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN, or can be watched online through live stream on ESPN3 by clicking HERE.
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