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England vs. Italy: Predictions, Live Stream Info and More for Euro 2012 Clash

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 19: Steven Gerrard of England shouts instructions during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between England and Ukraine at Donbass Arena on June 19, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJune 24, 2012

England and Italy will battle in a quarterfinal match on Sunday that is sure to be the most intense and defensive-minded battle at Euro 2012 thus far.

Both teams are at their best when the defense is playing well and not letting the opposing forwards have open shots on goal. If you're expecting a game with lots of goals, that's probably not going to happen. However, the passion and excitement that this game will provide will make up for the lack of scoring.

The Italians are known for their strong defense and physical style of play, and interestingly enough, that's the same kind of football England is playing right now. They are finding success with this style too, so don't expect manager Roy Hodgson to change anything.

Let's look at everything you need to prepare for this epic match between two of the best squads in the world.

 

When: Sunday, June 24 at 2:45 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

 

Player to Watch: Andrea Pirlo

POZNAN, POLAND - JUNE 14:  Andrea Pirlo of Italy runs with the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Italy and Croatia at The Municipal Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Poznan, Poland.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Andrea Pirlo is 33 years old, but he's still a world-class player in the heart of the Italian defense. The playmaking star is an exquisite passer and a real threat to England's chances of winning.

If Pirlo has space to pick out passes and create scoring chances for teammates, Italy will dominate this game and win easily.

The Three Lions have to make sure they put Pirlo under pressure when he has the ball at his feet and can not let him get comfortable in the midfield. He is the key to the Italian attack.

 

Prediction: 1-1, Italy wins in penalty shootout

It's hard to imagine these two teams scoring more than one goal each, especially when the team that scores first will likely sit back and "park the bus."

Each team will score a goal over 90 minutes and head to extra time. Italy will win in a penalty shootout, and send England home without another trophy at a major international football tournament.

 

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