From training, manager outfits and famous faces to watch in the stands, here are five things to watch out for at Wembley tonight.
An early goal in England?
Wouldn’t that be lovely? Calm down a bit? England have specialized in pitched starts, from the moment Phil Foden hit the post in the opening six minutes of his opener against Croatia.
There were quick goals against the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
Remember, Kieran Trippier gave England a five-minute lead in their 2018 World Cup semi-final, but Croatia won the game 2-1.
Gareth Southgate and his players think they’re better equipped to stay ahead now.
“It’s all about the experience and management of the game,” said Tripper himself.
“To live this moment against Croatia, it was to learn. “
The managerial sartorial contrast
What catches your eye the best? Gareth Southgate’s polka-dot ties or the light gray Armani suits of Roberto Mancini and his coaching staff from Italy?
Surprise, surprise – Italians are causing a sensation in fashion issues, these suits sometimes paired with navy shirts, sometimes with crisp white ties and shirts.
Southgate – his 2018 World Cup vests left in the wardrobe this time – wore a polka dot tie for every game bar.
The exception was the only game his side didn’t win, the 0-0 draw against Scotland. Peas tonight, then, surely.
Italy’s veteran center-backs
Leonardo Bonucci’s Juventus pair and captain Giorgio Chiellini are a combined age of 70 but can still claim to be the best in the tournament – nine years after playing in Italythe last Euro final, a 4-0 defeat against Spain in Kiev.
Anything they lost in rhythm is made up for everything you learn in a total of 219 internationals.
If you’re new to it, they’re easy to spot: Chiellini, the hairline above a face with battle scars, Bonucci with a shaved head; either might appeal to a casting director looking for a villain.
They won their physical battles against Belgium’s top scorer, Romelu Lukaku. They might not appreciate the skills of Raheem Sterling and co so much.
No matter the Royal Box at Wimbledon, it’s the hottest ticket. You can expect royalty and stars from the stage, film and sports.
the Duke of Cambridge will be there as FA president (while the Duchess, released from isolation, is at Wimbledon), although unlike his grandmother in the 1966 World Cup final, he will not be able to hand over the trophy. This honor goes to UEFA President Alexander Ceferin.
Also to discover: James Corden, Piers Morgan, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Pixie Lott and England’s own barbecue host Ed Sheeran.
The richest referee in the world?
Reputed to have won millions with a supermarket chain, Bjorn Kuipers is the first Dutchman to referee a Euro final.
This is not his first England-Italy game, however – he was also in charge when Italy won the 2014 World Cup.
He doesn’t have to be a bad omen – he also refereed England’s victory over Sweden during the last World Cup in Russia.