Don't you wish you had these guys, Mr. Hodgson?
England Lineup (4-2-3-1):; , , , , , , , , ,
Italy Lineup (4-3-1-2):; Ignazio Abate, , , Federico Balzaretti; , , ; Riccardo Montolivo; , Mario Balotelli
Chelsea interests: John Terry and Ashley Cole, of course.
This probably won't be a thriller. I'm warning you ahead. Italy and England were regarded as having played the most boring matches in the group stages. This is unlikely to be the exception, as both sides will have plenty to lose. England are eager to show they aren't quite as bad as legend, and logic, would say they are. Italy, on the other hand, are out to distract from the recent Italian match-fixing scandal, and to bring back some of the glory of 2006.
A bit unsurprisingly, I'm going to be focusing on England in this one, since I don't think anyone really for or against Italy, but most of us are pro- or anti-England. With a squad full of Liverpool players, and missing big names like Lampard and Cahill, England aren't a great team, but they're more of a team than they have been in recent years. England, on balance, probably have little chance of winning against Italy, Germany, or, let's face it, Spain, but until one of them beats England, they could do a Chelsea and shock the world.
Side Bet: Who gets sent off first, Rooney or Balotelli?
Side Note: The referee is Pedro Proença, who seems familiar for some reason. ; )