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Antonio Conte Tells Italy Which Two 'Very Physical' England Stars To Target In Euro 2020 Final

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Antonio Conte Tells Italy Which Two 'Very Physical' England Stars To Target In Euro 2020 Final

Former Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte believes that Italy can beat England in the Euro 2020 final if they effectively target Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips.

Italy defeated Spain on penalties in their semi-final clash to set up a hotly anticipated showdown with England at Wembley on Sunday.

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England, meanwhile, sealed a 2-1 victory over Denmark in extra time at Wembley to reach the final at this summer's Euros.

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Gareth Southgate has leant on the midfield partnership of Rice and Phillips at Euro 2020 to help protect the likes of Harry Maguire and John Stones.

Both Rice and Phillips have impressed in the England midfield as the pair have started every match under Southgate at Euro 2020.

And Southgate is expected to once again start the two England stars as the Three Lions chase their first piece of major silverware since the 1966 World Cup.

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Conte, who managed Italy from 2014 to 2016, has admitted that both Rice and Phillips are two "very physical midfielders" who "bring balance" to England.

However, the 51-year-old Italian argued in his blueprints to beat England that Rice and Phillips play "very few vertical passes" and are "often going for the simple option."

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Speaking in his column for Gazzetta dello Sport, Conte explained: "Unlike Spain, who tended to pass it backwards, they always try to hit you in one-on-one situations.

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"Many praise Harry Kane for his ability to go get the ball and play with the team, such as with the equaliser against Denmark.

"Of course, he's good at that too, but it's in the box where he's clinical and as a coach, I would always keep him in there, because he's devastating.

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"There are two very physical midfielders like Rice and Phillips, who bring balance, but very few vertical passes, often going for the simple option.

"A weak spot for England is that if their defence is pressed when building out from the back, they aren't as good as Spain at escaping the press.

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"However, if you are ultra-attacking in your press and they do escape, then watch out for their pace upfront.

"Again, this is when Italy must show their experience at reading the various moments of the game."

Italy have impressed under Roberto Mancini and secured victories over the likes of Switzerland, Belgium and Spain en route to the Euro 2020 final.

The Euro 2020 finalists have not lost a single match at the European competition this summer, extending their unbeaten run to 33 internationals (27 wins and six draws).

Italy and England will clash in the Euro 2020 final at 8pm UK time on 11th July.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Kalvin Phillips, Football, Euro 2020, UEFA, England, Declan Rice, Italy, Antonio Conte

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