Euro 2012: Italy V. England Quarterfinal Preview

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Euro 2012: Italy V. England Quarterfinal Preview
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Despite the conspiracy theories swarming Italian media in the days before the Group C finale on Monday, the worst did not happen, Croatia and Spain did not play to a prearranged 2-2 draw, and Italy did indeed go through to the quarterfinals.  It was unlucky that the Azzurri weren't group winners after Croatia's defense finally cracked after 88 minutes, allowing Spain to claim the top spot with a 1-0 victory.

It was a stroke of good luck for England that they come into this game as Group D winners after France laid an egg in the group stage finale against Sweden.  Their 2-0 loss, coupled with the Three Lions' 1-0 victory against Ukraine gave them the top spot and set up a tantalizing match-up between traditional powers of the game that have not played each other in 10 years.

Neither team has advanced past the quarterfinals of this tournament since 2000, so one or the other will be in rarefied air with a victory.

Who will get that victory?  Let's take a closer look at these teams to find out.

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