Euro 2020 final build-up LIVE: England vs Italy set to break UK viewing record with 44 MILLION expected to tune in

ENGLAND are counting down to their first major tournament final in 55 years as they look to win Euro 2020.

Gareth Southgate's players have been enjoying some time on their unicorn inflatables before getting down to the serious business of plotting Italy's downfall in the final.

The Three Lions beat Denmark 2-1 AET at Wembley to seal a spot in Sunday's showpiece final against Italy.

Harry Kane's 105th-minute winner was enough for Gareth Southgate and his side to see their tough clash with the Danes through.

The Azzurri reached the final with a win over Spain on penalties.


Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Jake Lambourne


    Paul Mariner's family have releases a statement revealing the ex-England striker has passed away following a short battle with brain cancer.

    Read the full statement below.

  • Jake Lambourne


    More than 44 million people are expected to tune in to watch the Euro 2020 final – making it the most watched event in UK TV history.

    England will face Italy in their biggest game in more than half a century on Sunday, with record-breaking viewing figures predicted to smash those for the 1966 World Cup final.

    Millions will watch the game on TV, which is being shown both by the BBC and ITV, while others tune in on iPlayer and ITV Hub via phones, iPads and computers.

    An additional two million – excluded from ratings – will watch in 35,000 pubs where beer chucking frenzy is expected to greet English goals.

    Wednesday's 2-1 semi-final triumph over Denmark was the most-watched football match ever on a single channel with figures of 27.6 million viewers on ITV.

    But tomorrow’s final is poised to beat the 1966 World Cup Final (32.3million), Princess Diana's funeral in 1997 (32.1million) and the Apollo 13 splashdown in 1970 (28.6 million).

    It also smash Boris Johnson's March 2020 lockdown broadcast (27.7 million) and the 2012 Olympics' opening ceremony (26.9million).

  • Jake Lambourne


    Former England star Paul Mariner has tragically passed away at the age of 68.

    He played for the likes of Arsenal, Ipswich and Plymouth during a 20-year player career.

    Mariner was part of the Tractor Boys' side that memorably won the FA Cup and Uefa Cup.

    "An England statement read: "We're sad to have learned that Paul Mariner, who made 35 appearances for the #ThreeLions, has passed away at the age of 68.

    "Mariner represented England between 1977 and 1985, scoring 13 goals. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family, friends and former clubs."


  • Justin Lawrence


    England's warriors Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips can win the midfield battle with Italy's Marco Verratti and Jorginho.

    That is Emmanuel Petit's belief ahead of Sunday's huge Euro 2020 final.

    Former France and Arsenal midfield ace Petit told Paddy Power: "Central midfield is one of the keys to this game.

    "Italy will want to get control of the ball in midfield with Verratti and Jorginho, and it will be very interesting to see how Rice and Phillips cope with that.

    “Phillips and Rice have made a huge impression at the tournament, and I'm a huge fan of both players. They are warriors, and it’s a dream for their team-mates to play with that kind of player.

    “If they show their intensity and fighting spirit, it will be difficult for Jorginho and Verratti.

    "The Italians will want to focus on technique and play their football, but Phillips and Rice are physically strong and cover so much ground, trying to get the second ball or cutting out passes, putting pressure on the transition.”

    Petit reckons Rice and Philips can control the midfield for England in their Euro 2020 final tie against ItalyCredit: Mark Pain / Premium Sport


  • Justin Lawrence


    Tesco and Co-op stores across the country will be shutting up shop early on Sunday so workers can get home in time to watch England's epic showdown against Italy as football fever grips the nation.

    It comes amid hopes Boris Johnson will rubber-stamp plans for an extra bank holiday – should the Three Lions claim Euro 2020 victory.

    The PM has ruled out springing a surprise Bank Holiday on employers this Monday, but with calls mounting for an extra summer bank holiday if England win so the nation can celebrate, No10 could sign off a day in August.

    For now, however, it's good news for some Tesco and Co-op staff who will be able to enjoy the 8pm clash at Wembley without having to keep one eye on the till as bosses have signed off plans to shut early.

    England's 1,600 Tesco Express stores will close at 7.45pm on Sunday, instead of midnight, while Co-op will shut its 2,034 food stores at the same time, Sky reports.

    Co-op's 24 hour petrol stations will also be out of bounds between 7.45pm and 11pm.

    Chris Whitfield, Co-op's chief operating officer, said: "We appreciate just how much this means to many of our store colleagues and we want them to be able to celebrate at home with their family and friends."

    Co-op and Tesco will close early on Sunday so their employees can watch England's Euro 2020 final against ItalyCredit: Alamy


  • Justin Lawrence


    Boris Johnson has decked out No10 with England flags ahead of the Euro 2020 final.

    The Three Lions face Italy on Sunday night – and Brits are pushing for celebratory Bank Holiday if we win.

    Photos from the PM's home show St George's flags draped across windows, with bunting hanging from lampposts and gates.

    Boris seems to have come down with football fever – even showing off his own flag outside his front door.

    He gave the camera a big thumbs up in preparation for the big game.

    As well as the flags, he also managed to show the team his support with a small England pin on his suit.

    Boris Johnson decked out No10 with England flags ahead of the Euro 2020 finalCredit: Alamy


  • Justin Lawrence


    England's Euro 2020 heroes have been branded "scared and "miserable" by Premier League flop Pierre van Hooijdonk.

    The Three Lions face Italy at Wembley on Sunday after securing their first place in a major final since 1966 by beating Denmark 2-1 on Wednesday.

    But former Nottingham Forest striker Van Hooijdonk criticised their style of play and rated their displays in the tournament so far as only "average".

    The ex-Holland star hit out after covering England's Wembley victory for Dutch TV.

    The 51-year-old said: "England truly play incredibly scared football. If that is what they do with the squad they have, I think it's really miserable.

    "If they want to win the final they have to pay heed to what we are now saying.

    "They were really average in the group stages as well. OK, they scored a lot of goals against Ukraine.

    "But I have definite favourites for the final in Italy, and I hope they can do it.

    "I am so disappointed in what England have shown so far. With their squad they should be able to serve up something more attractive."

    Pierre van Hooijdonk says England looked frightened in the semi-final against Denmark after 'average' form before thatCredit: Alan MacGregor Ewing – The Sun Glasgow


  • Justin Lawrence


    Harry Kane has revealed that he and his England team-mates are just a bunch of normal guys with a dream of winning a trophy ahead of their Euro 2020 tie against Italy.

    After the Tottenham ace fired the Three Lions into the finals with his penalty rebound in the semi's over Denmark, he and the rest of the squad have started to visualise lifting the European trophy.

    But before getting to this milestone in their careers, Kane says the England squad made up of regular guys.

    Which is why they can connect with the fans on such a deep level.

    He said to Sky Sports: "We see ourselves as just doing a job, playing football, representing each other across the country.

    "It's been great to be here and see the connections we've made with the fans and the togetherness that we've created.

    "I think we've shown that we're just normal lads. We wear the badge with pride, but we represent the country in a way that makes everyone else proud as well."

    Kane says the England squad are just a bunch of normal guysCredit: The Mega Agency


  • Justin Lawrence


    The VAR official who allowed England's penalty against Denmark to be awarded is back on duty for the Euro 2020 final with Italy.

    The Three Lions advanced to their first major tournament final since 1966 after Harry Kane's extra-time winner sealed a 2-1 win over the Danes.

    The England captain slotted home the rebound from close range after Kasper Schmeichel had initially saved his penalty.

    The spot-kick itself drew controversy over the amount of contact involved from Joakim Maehle that saw Raheem Sterling hit the deck.

    Yet VAR official Pol Van Boekel saw no reason to overturn Danny Makkelie's on-field decision that England used to claim a historic win.

    And the Dutchman will also be involved on Sunday for the final against Italy to assist German ref Bastian Dankert with the technology.

    VAR official Pol Van Boekel who allowed England's penalty against Denmark will be back on duty in the Euro 2020 finalCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow


  • Justin Lawrence


    John Stones reckons his England team-mate Raheem Sterling will be crowned Player of the Tournament at Euro 2020.

    Sterling has been one of the Three Lions stand-out stars in the competition and Stones thinks he should be rewarded for his performances.

    The Man City defender said: "I've said it all along but I'm a big fan of Raheem's.

    "I believe and I'd love to see him get player of the tournament. What he's done for us and the unselfish part of his game goes unspoken about.

    "But as players we see it. He's been a great threat going forward with how direct he's been in the games and it has been great playing with him."

    Stones thinks Sterling will be named Player of the Euro 2020 tournamentCredit: The Sun



  • Justin Lawrence


    Harry Kane's coach when he was a kid isn't surprised with the striker's clinical form during Euro 2020.

    The Tottenham ace got the winner against Germany in the quarter-finals and again in the semi's over Denmark.

    And his coach, Dave Bricknell, when he was at Chingford as a youngster claims he always knew Kane was a star.

    He said: "No, you don’t see six-year-old leaders, but the thing I would say is he wanted to take the free-kicks, he wanted to take the penalties.

    "And if we were a goal behind, he was one of the ones who would pump their fist up and try to get you back in the game."

    Kane has always been a leader according to his old coachCredit: The Mega Agency





  • Justin Lawrence


    With the Euros final the hot topic on everyone's lips, some of football's big names are bravely coming out with their predictions.

    England's huge clash with Italy is likely to be on a knife-edge and even the bookies can barely separate the duo.

    And the pundits have given their opinion on who they think will win the game.

    Michael Owen reckons the Three Lions will win 2-1, and Dimitar Berbatov thinks it will be 1-0 to Gareth Southgate's troops.

    Rio Ferdinand and Alan Shearer also believe victory belongs to England but didn't predict a score-line.

    Ex-Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher thinks the final will go to penalties where the Three Lions will win.

    On the other hand, Antonio Conte, Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Capello all back Italy to lift the Euro 2020 trophy.

    Shearer reckons the Euro 2020 trophy belongs to EnglandCredit: pixel8000


  • Justin Lawrence


    A so-called 'time traveller' has stunned England fans by predicting that Italy are set to win Euro 2020 this Sunday.

    TikTok user @nsh.official claims to have revealed that the Three Lions will suffer Wembley heartbreak following a late goal from Federico Chiesa.

    Back on June 18 before the semi-finals had taken place, the account uploaded a video that showed a scoreboard of Italy beating England 2-1.

    Inter Milan star Nicolo Barella had given the Azzurri the lead after half an hour before Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount equalises after the break.

    Chiesa then scores the winner in the 77th minute with a caption over a clip of Italy celebrating reading: "I'm a time traveller."

    The video has since resurfaced following Roberto Mancini's sides' victory over Spain and England's extra-time glory against Denmark.

    According to LadBible, the TikTok user has previous after correctly predicting that the Three Lions would beat Ukraine 4-0 before kick-off.

    And fans are now worried that lightning could strike twice, with one commenting: "This man actually is from the future."

    A claimed time traveller has predicted Italy will beat England in the Euro 2020 finalCredit: Getty


  • Justin Lawrence


    Italy hardman Giorgio Chiellini has claimed Euro 2020 final opponents England 'aren't easy on the eye'.

    The veteran defender has been left unimpressed by their opponents' style of play heading into Sunday's huge decider.

    Chiellini told RAI Sport: "I immediately thought England would be a serious candidate to win the Euros.

    "They have quality and physicality, are solid and organised. They might not be easy on the eye, but they are hard to beat.

    “They reached the semi-final at the World Cup, plus it was predictable England would be in the final of the Euros, as they played six out of seven games on home turf.”

    Chiellini reckons England aren't easy on the eyeCredit: Getty


  • Justin Lawrence


    Harry Kane will look to fire England to European Championship glory on Sunday.

    And YOU can back the Three Lions centre-forward to open the scoring against Italy at boosted odds of 33/1 with Novibet's sign-up special.

    Bookmakers Novibet are offering brand new customers odds of 33/1 that Harry Kane will score first during the European Championship final.

    Register a new account with Novibet using this link HERE* and enter the Promo Code: NOVIBOOST1

    After that, deposit £10 or more and place a maximum £1 bet on Harry Kane to score the first goal.

    The bet should be placed at the regular prices shown on the Novibet website and MUST be your first bet after registering.

    If you win, Novibet will credit your account with your winnings in a mixture of cash and free bets.

    £1 bet on Harry Kane to score the first goal at 4/1 will award the player with £5 cash return, as well as an additional £29 winnings in free bet based on this offer special odds of 33/1.

    This is an example only, odds are subject to change.

    Kane is 33/1 odds to open the scoring against Italy in the Euro 2020 finalCredit: AFP


  • Justin Lawrence


    Leonardo Bonucci has promised to seek out the Wembley stewardess who tried to stop him getting on the pitch and give her a proper hug on Sunday.

    Italy defender Bonucci was stopped from making his way back to the dressing room by a member of the stadium security who mistook him for a supporter at the end of their semi-final shoot-out victory over Spain.

    And the 34-year-old defender says he will reserve a special cuddle for the stewardess if he sees her at the end of this weekend’s Euro 2020 final against England.

    The Juventus ace said: “It was a fun experience, let's say. I was disappointed for the hug because she stopped me, but I hugged her.

    “She was a little bit cold, but I know the tension – they do a very tough job, they are spending hours to keep the fans at bay and this can happen.

    “And if I recognise her during the final, or at the end of the final I will hug her again.”

    Bonucci said he'll hug the steward who tried to stop him getting on the pitch at Wembley in Italy's semi-final shoot-out win over Spain


  • Justin Lawrence


    The BBC and ITV line-ups are out for Sunday's Euro 2020 final and the heavyweight stars have secured their starting spots in the team.

    England take on Italy at Wembley with an 8pm kick-off at the home of football.

    For the Beeb, Gary Lineker is in the host's chair with fellow legends Alan Shearer, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard providing punditry.

    The commentary team is the first-choice pairing of Guy Mowbray supported by Jermaine Jenas.

    Gabby Logan will be the pitchside reporter with Alex Scott and Jurgen Klinsmann while Kelly Somers will conduct the interviews.

    The programme starts on BBC One and the iPlayer at 6.20pm with 100 minutes of pre-match build-up.

    ITV start their show ten minutes later as blockbuster trio Ian Wright, Roy Keane and Gary Neville join Mark Pougatch in the Wembley studio.

    Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon will call the game with the microphones from the gantry – with added in-game insight from Neville and Emma Hayes.

    Seema Jaswal fulfils the Logan role on ITV as Hayes and Ashley Cole give their thoughts before kick-off.

    The BBC and ITV have announced their line-ups to present the Euro 2020 finalCredit: pixel8000


  • Justin Lawrence


    A US writer has sparked fury – and plenty of mocking – after claiming Baddiel and Skinner's Three Lions is about England's "Brexit psychodrama".

    A New Yorker article by Ryu Spaeth has offered a rather pompous take on why Brits love the beautiful game.

    Instead of focusing on the Lions' flawless performances on the pitch – and their great manners off of it – Spaeth claims our "tortured psychology" is behind our passion for Euro 2020.

    Even more hilariously, he suggests Three Lions is an anthem to an "undying belief that a postwar legacy of thwarted ambition and diminished stature will be purged in the ecstasy of a footballing triumph".

    And he claims Brexit is at the heart of it all – as leaving the EU has "seemingly reoriented every issue of importance along its tribal lines".

    Unsurprisingly, many England supporters have disagreed – and they've set about puncturing the author's pretentious waffle.

    David Baddiel was one of the first to defend his song.

    Baddiel leapt to the defence of his Three Lions anthemCredit: Twitter


  • Kealan Hughes


    A video of England star Jack Grealish saying 'oh my god' in 'the most Brummy way possible' has resurfaced – and fans love it.

    It was originally posted in 2019, captioned by Twitter user Ali Hampson-Silk with: "Have you ever seen a more Brummy mouthing."

    Many are big fans of the clip, with one writing: "Totally said this in our fantastic accent. This is brilliant."

    Twitter user Catherine added: "I can just hear this saying it! 'O muya gawd' I love this."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Khabib Nurmagomedov has backed England to beat Italy in Sunday's huge Euro 2020 final.

    The UFC icon believes football is coming home as he expects Gareth Southgate's side to land their first European Championship.

    Nurmagomedov said: "England have very good and young Lions. It's a very good team with Sterling, Kane, Mount, Phillips, Walker and Pickford.

    "They're a very good team and they're going to play at home. The last time they won was in 1966.

    "Italy have a big chance because they are a very experienced team with guys like Bonucci, Chiellini and Immobile.

    "But in my opinion England have to win because they have speed. Italy have the experience but England have a very good, young team with speed.

    "I hope England are going to win. I think they deserve it."

    Khabib Nurmagomedov backs England to beat Italy in Euro 2020 final

  • Kealan Hughes


    Gary Neville believes booing national anthems is 'not an attack' after the FA were charged for England fans jeering Denmark's tune.

    The Manchester United legend's controversial opinion has divided fans on social media, with Gary Lineker having an opposing view.

    Neville tweeted on Friday morning: "When I played in different countries our national anthem was booed, I always took it as the opposition fans trying to unsettle us, drown our fans out and never took it as some kind of attack on us as people.

    "Same when we did it to other teams. Is it really that bad and disrespectful?"

    Gary Lineker had previously shared his view on the matter, saying: "If you're lucky enough to get a ticket for the final, please, please don't boo the Italian anthem.

    "It's an absolutely belter and worth listening to. It's bloody rude, disrespectful and utterly classless."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Jose Mourinho thinks Bukayo Saka will start in the Euro 2020 final.

    Referencing Carlos Alberto for Porto in 2004, he told talkSPORT: "I played an 18-year-old player in a Champions League final and he is still the youngest player to score in a Champions League final. No problem.

    “Of course we coaches normally think about all these details but in the end when we make these kinds of decisions we are sure of what we are doing.

    "Southgate had no problem to do that, not only with Saka but also with other players giving them chances to play.

    “The kid is proving my experience theory, which is experience has nothing to do with age.

    "He is showing great personality and I don’t think Gareth is going to leave him out."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Pizza Express have joked about Gareth Southgate, referencing an advert from the 90s that the England boss appeared in.

    Alongside Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle Southgate was featured with a paper bag over his head, to hide the embarrassment of his penalty miss against Germany.

    And although the pizza cheered him up, Southgate humiliated himself at the end of the advert.

    Oh, how times have changed…

  • Kealan Hughes

    'WE KNOW'

    Ex-Chelsea manager Antonio Conte claims Italy 'know what it means to play in a final' ahead of their game against England.

    Conte is a columnist for Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and has been discussing England's chances in the final.

    The 51-year-old wrote: "England has been waiting for this match for a lifetime.

    "They have never won the European Championships and their only World Cup triumph is in 1966.

    "Wembley's help can be a huge boost but also a drag, because the players could feel the pressure.

    "We will have less support in the stands, but more experience than them on the pitch.

    "We know what it means to play in the finals. And we also know how they are won."

  • Kealan Hughes


    Phil Foden looked ready to burst into tears of joy celebrating Harry Kane's Euro 2020 semi-final winner for England against Denmark – and fans loved it.

    And judging by his reaction against the Danes, Foden will be doing all he can to convince the boss to start him.

    The Manchester City youngster sprinted after Kane after the captain had tucked home a rebound after seeing his penalty saved.

    You could see the passion and delight etched all over Foden's face as the reaction sunk in at what the lads were about to do.

    Kieren Laverick wrote on Twitter: "Inject Phil Foden's celebrations into my veins."

    Another Three Lions fan posted: "Surely Foden’s celebration of Kane’s goal has to be the best ever goal celebration assist of all time."

    England fans love Phil Foden’s passionate celebration after Harry Kane’s goal with midfielder almost crying with joy

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