England v Italy preview
Expectations were at an all-time low going into Euro 2012. England's fans expected nothing from the team, Rooney was suspended for the first two games and Hodgson was in the job for the long term, not short term success.
England are unbeaten in the tournament and they topped the group, they have even played some scintillating football at times. Standing in the way of a spot in the semi-finals is Italy!
It is hard to call the ninety minute result, both sides are 9/5 and the draw is 19/10. Italy have only won one game this tournament but they got a point against Spain and Croatia.
England can be backed at 10/11 draw no bet and there will be plenty of people having a patriotic punt on the side this weekend. The Three Lions will be relying on Wayne Rooney to up his game, he should be quite fresh after only starting against the Ukraine. The Man Utd player is 9/2 to open the scoring and 6/5 anytime scorer.
He is the star striker on-show for England and he has the ability to turn the game at anytime. Italy will be looking for inspiration from their eccentric striker Balotelli (11/2, first scorer)! He looks likely to start but he may have to come on from the bench, he is highly talented but he is not a team player and he may play second fiddle to Di Natale (13/2, first scorer).
We offer the Best Prices on the Best Teams and for a special, we have enhanced the price of Gerrard to score and England to win in ninety minutes from 5/1 to 9/1! He has improved every game and he will take most of the set pieces.
Italy are hard to beat and Prandelli is likely to employ Daniele De Rossi to take care of Rooney. Under 2.5 goals is as short as 2/5 and over the goals is 7/4! The 7/4 is massive for over 2.5 goals, many expect it to be a cagey affair but both teams are attacking and with newish centre-back partnerships that can be vulnerable.
Italy are without the Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini, he is the most experienced defender in the squad and he will be replaced by his club team-mate Bonucci. Before Gary Cahill's injury, he looked likely to be paired alongside Terry for England throughout the tournament.
There will be plenty of attacking football and I'd take some 7/4! Both teams have passionate players and many have been on the wrong side of the referee's book in recent years! With the likes of Rooney and Balotelli playing, it is as short as 2/1 for a red card!
John Terry has been in excellent form considering his impending court case and the fact he is no longer captain. He still plays like a leader and he controls the backline. He was exceptional against the Ukraine and had Gerrard (5/1, MOM) not won man of the match he would have been close. He is 25/1 to be awarded the prize and that looks a big price! He is also great at latching on to the end of set pieces and he is 20/1 to open the scoring.