Wayne Rooney is confident England can win.
Wayne Rooney feels that England could “have a field day” in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against Italy “if they get their forward play right.”
Rooney, writing in his column for The Sunday Times ahead of the final, highlighted a lack of pace in the Italy centre back partnership of Georgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci as something that England can take advantage of.
Wayne Rooney: “Italian pair aren’t the quickest.”
The former England captain pointed to the goal Spain scored against in Tuesday’s semi-final as an example of how can be vulnerable in this area.
“Leonardo Bonucci and Georgio Chiellini are great players but not the quickest,” Rooney writes.
“I’m sure Gareth Southgate and his assistant Steve Holland will be looking at Alvaro Morata’s goal for Spain in Italy’s semi-final.
“It showed that if you can get bodies around those two great centre backs, making sharp movements in behind them, they’re not comfortable.”
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) July 6, 2021
Wayne Rooney: “Sterling and Kane could be key.”
Bonucci and Chiellini have spent 11 seasons playing together at Juventus and at the age of 34 and 36 respectively, their experience has proven vital to Italy during their run to the Euro 2020 Final.
However, Rooney feels that if England players like Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane play to their potential then the Italian pair could be in for an uncomfortable night at Wembley.
“If England can get Raheem making his inside runs and Harry and the other quick players moving down their sides, Chiellini and Bonucci won’t enjoy it one bit,” the current Derby County manager states.
“I honestly think if England get their forward play right, we can have a field day. That today could – maybe should – be England’s day.”
England v Italy.
Having played his final game for England as recently as 2018, Wayne Rooney is well aware of the capabilities of Gareth Southgate’s squad.
The former Manchester United forward was England captain when Southgate took over 2016 and has played with the likes of Sterling, Kane and a number of other current England players.
He might well be right about targeting Italy’s ageing centre back pairing, who looked suspect at times during that epic midweek encounter with Spain, particularly if Sterling and Kane continue their impressive Euro 2020 knockout stage form.
You can keep up to date with all the Euro 2020 build-up as well as tonight’s Euro 2020 final itself via our liveblog here.