England took the lead against the Italians after just two minutes with Luke Shaw converting with a low drive after receiving a cross from Kieran Trippier.
Captain Kane: Talismanic striker Harry Kane is priced at 4/1 to be named man of the match in England’s game against Italy
With 60,000 expectant supporters roaring them on from within Wembley stadium, Ladbrokes has the Three Lions as 1/2 favourites to topple the Italians (6/1) in this evening’s titanic clash.
And the Three Lions’ heroes are both viewed as most likely to be crowned man of the match, with Kane (4/1) and Sterling (6/1) edging out Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne at 8/1.
The bookmakers view a draw after 90 minutes at 2/1, while a 1-1 draw and the match to go to a tense penalty shootout is priced at 13/2.
England last beat the Italians in a competitive fixture with a 2-0 victory in the qualifiers for the 1978 World Cup, having lost the previous six games.
England’s Raheem Sterling (left) is priced at 6/1 to be crowned UEFA’s ‘star of the match’ according to Ladbrokes, edging out Italy’s Lorenzo Insigne at 8/1 (right)
Their most recent defeat came in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, when the Azzurri beat England 2-1 with goals from Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli.
Both sides are equally rated at 17/2 to win the final via penalties, although the Three Lions will be hoping to escape the agony of a shootout, having lost six of the tense deciders and winning only three in their history.
England’s 55-year wait for a major tournament final is over and Gareth Southgate’s side are within touching distance of greatness.
Fans were fearful when drawn on the same side as world champions France, reigning European champions Portugal and bitter rivals Germany but the Three Lions swatted Joachim Low’s outfit aside at the last-16 stage.
But who has been the Three Lions’ standout player so far?
Gareth Southgate’s impressive England side are within touching distance of greatness
Jordan Pickford – 8
Came in for some criticism for letting in Mikkel Damsgaard’s free-kick which gave Denmark the lead in the last-four clash but he’s been outstanding this summer.
Denmark’s strike is the only goal he’s conceded so far with the Everton goalkeeper making some crucial saves in England’s run to the final.
Former Three Lions defender Gary Neville hailed Pickford as the man of the match in the 2-0 win over Germany and claimed he was a ‘different player’ for his country than his club.
Jordan Pickford has only conceded one goal in six matches at Euro 2020 and has been in form
Aaron Ramsdale – 5
Yet to feature but Southgate took the time to praise the importance of the fringe players in his squad.
The 23-year-old shot-stopper is only young and will be gaining vital experience at this level, which will only benefit England in the future.
Sam Johnstone – 5
Pickford’s back-up but has not been called upon. The 28-year-old has impressed England goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson following his first call-up to the squad.
He enjoyed an excellent season with West Brom and like Ramsdale has contributed to an unified group.
Kyle Walker – 8.5
The Manchester City defender’s influence on this England side may have slipped under the radar with Luke Shaw on the opposite flank dominating the headlines.
But there’s no underestimating just how pivotal he has been to England’s success and his ability to execute Southgate’s gameplan.
He has matured defensively under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola and can be trusted to perform, resulting in him playing in five of the six matches.
Kyle Walker has been sensational on the right side of England’s backline this summer
Kieran Trippier – 7
Started the tournament at left back and did not look out of place before being utilised as right wing back against Germany.
The Atletico Madrid man can be relied on, offers experience and provides quality at a dead-ball situation.
Walker is, understandably, ahead of him when Southgate opts for a back four but Trippier has played his part this summer and could be important come Sunday.
Reece James – 6.5
The young promising Chelsea full back has only featured in the drab goalless stalemate with Scotland so far and struggled to provide the same threat Blues fans became accustomed to seeing last season.
However the 21-year-old did show glimpses of his quality on the ball but is well down the pecking order.
Like Ramsdale and Johnstone he has contributed to the camp and he will benefit massively from the journey.
John Stones – 7.5
The Manchester City centre half has continued his fine form from last campaign into the tournament and been solid at the back.
He has been instrumental in keeping five clean sheets. He’s strong in an aerial battle, challenge and his decision-making has improved.
He came close to breaking the deadlock against Scotland as his header crashed off the post. Stones is a constant danger at set pieces. Beware Italy.
Harry Maguire – 8
The Manchester United centre back missed the first two group games due to injury but since being reinstated in the side has been commanding in defence.
Tyrone Mings performed well in Maguire’s absence but Maguire’s leadership qualities and ability to carry the ball forward from the back are vital for England.
His threat in the opposition’s box also gives the Three Lions another dimension. Since returning to the fold Maguire has been dominant.
Harry Maguire has been commanding at the back and scored in the 4-0 win over Ukraine
Tyrone Mings – 7
The Aston Villa defender started the first two group games, playing his part in keeping two clean sheets.
He slotted in seamlessly into the backline while Maguire recovered from injury. Although he is unlikely to feature on Sunday, Mings stepped in when England needed him to.
Conor Coady – 6
The Wolves skipper is yet to make his Euro 2020 bow but he’s been a key figure within the England camp. It appears he has been embracing every second and Southgate’s No 2 Steve Holland hailed the defender’s contribution.
‘My player of the tournament so far is Conor Coady, I would say,’ Holland told BBC Football Daily.
‘He’s not get on the pitch yet, but on the training pitch he gives everything.
‘In the dressing room before the game, he speaks like he’s captain despite the fact he’s not been on the pitch yet. That’s incredibly difficult to do.’
Ben White – 5
The highly-rated Brighton defender has not made an appearance this summer but at 23 is one for the future and this sensational run to the Euro 2020 final will stand him in good stead.
His future is uncertain with Arsenal and Everton circling following his impressive campaign on the south coast.
Luke Shaw – 9
The Manchester United left back has been nothing short of sensational, supplying three assists in five matches, helping England progress to the Wembley showdown on Sunday.
Shaw has enjoyed a brilliant revival in recent times and has more than answered his critics this summer, proving to be a persistent threat down the left flank.
As well as being a thorn in the side of England’s opponents, Shaw has also played a key role in their impressive defensive displays.
Luke Shaw’s impact, particularly going forward, has dominated the headlines at tournament
Ben Chilwell – 5
Chelsea’s £50m left back has, surprisingly, not featured for the Three Lions at Euro 2020 despite a strong campaign for the Blues.
Chilwell was forced into isolation along with Mason Mount after being deemed a close contact of Scotland and Chelsea team-mate Billy Gilmour following the 0-0 draw with their rivals.
But since returning to training Chilwell has not been able to force his way into the side with Shaw in imperious form.
Declan Rice – 8
The West Ham midfielder has been excellent in the heart of England’s midfield alongside Kalvin Phillips.
He provides that protection in front of the back four, is able to snuff out the danger and break up promising attacks from the opposition.
At just 22 his maturity and quality is outstanding – he’s already a key cog in Southgate’s machine and will continue to be one for many years to come.
Declan Rice has been excellent in the heart of England’s midfield alongside Kalvin Phillips
Kalvin Phillips – 8
The Leeds midfielder has more than made his mark with Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson struggling for fitness.
He has struck up a formidable partnership with Rice and was the man of the match in England’s opening win over Croatia.
A tough tackler, whose passing range and ability to read the game stand out, supplied a sublime assist for Raheem Sterling’s winner in the Group D clash. He has covered the most distance in the team, racking up 67.3km in six games.
Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips has covered the most distance in England team, an impressive 67.3km
Jordan Henderson – 6.5
The Liverpool man was in a race against time to be fit for the tournament but Southgate put his faith in him and Henderson has rewarded him.
He did not recover in time to feature in the first two matches but has come off the bench in the four matches since, providing energy and leadership qualities at important stages of matches.
His inclusion in the squad was questioned after not playing since February but he’s proven why Southgate wanted him and even scored his first goal for his country in then 4-0 win over Ukraine.
Jude Bellingham – 6
The hugely-talented Borussia Dortmund midfielder has been restricted to bit-part roles off the bench, which was expected.
But when called upon he has not looked out of place and the 17-year-old didn’t let the occasion get the better of him against Croatia at Wembley where he became the youngest-ever player to feature at a Euros at 17 years and 349 days old, although that feat has now been beaten.
Once again this tournament will help his upward trajectory and England fans can look forward to big things from the former Birmingham star.
Mason Mount – 7
Just like at Chelsea the midfielder has become one of England’s go-to players at just 22 years of age.
Mount made a promising start against Croatia, picking up the ball in between the lines and looked to be the one most likely to unlock Scotland.
Unfortunately his Euro journey was put on hold after having to self-isolate but was trusted once again for the Ukraine and Denmark clashes from the off.
Just like at Chelsea Mason Mount has become one of England’s go-to players aged just 22
Jack Grealish – 7
The Villa skipper certainly gets England fans talking but he has only started one match of the tournament so far.
Nevertheless he impressed in that appearance, assisting the only goal of the game with a delightful chipped cross to the back post for Raheem Sterling to head home, and he has made an impact off the bench – setting up Harry Kane to land the knockout blow against Germany.
Southgate was ruthless and decided to replace Grealish after he was subbed on against Denmark on Wednesday but that’s unlikely to change his approach if called upon against Italy.
Phil Foden – 6
Another player that was on every England fans’ lips ahead of the tournament kicking off last month but he is yet to really the heights he reached at City last season.
Foden was sublime in their title-winning season and did impress in the narrow victory over Croatia where he hit the post with a sumptuous curling strike. He was somewhat subdued in the Scotland draw and has lost his place in the starting XI.
He was introduced in extra-time against Denmark as England searched for a winner and could have a say in the final.
Bukayo Saka – 7
The Arsenal star seized his opportunity when included in Southgate’s starting line-up for England’s final group game against the Czech Republic after missing out on the first two matches.
The 19-year-old was unfazed and gave Southgate a huge selection dilemma after starring and playing a pivotal role in the build-up to Sterling’s first-half winner.
He started against Germany and Denmark, only missing out to Ukraine through injury as he continues to deliver out wide.
The Arsenal star seized his opportunity when selected from the off against the Czech Republic
Jadon Sancho – 6
The Borussia Dortmund star has seen his game time limited this summer, playing only a cameo role off the substitutes’ bench in the group stages.
However he entered the fray from the start against Ukraine in the quarter-finals and showed why Manchester United were so keen to sign him.
He does not seem to meet Southgate’s requirements on a consistent basis but there’s no doubting his ability when in form.
Raheem Sterling – 9.5
No question, England’s star so far. There were doubts over his form heading into the tournament but the Manchester City forward has answered his critics in emphatic fashion.
He scored the winning goals against Croatia and the Czech Republic in the group stage, broke the deadlock against Germany and won the crucial penalty in extra time against Denmark in the semi-finals.
Sterling is a nightmare for defenders and could be the difference against an ageing Italy defence.
Man City forward Raheem Sterling has been England’s standout performer this summer
Marcus Rashford – 5
The Manchester United forward has made just four appearances off the bench at Euro 2020 with the likes of Saka and Sterling ahead of him.
The 23-year-old has played an awful lot of football in recent seasons and he reportedly had not played a pain-free game in two years prior to this summer.
His pace and directness is useful for Southgate to draw on during the latter stages of games but he is yet to leave his mark or had the chance to.
Harry Kane – 9
The pressure was on the Tottenham striker to deliver ahead of the Euros and the heat ramped up a notch after he failed to find the back of the net in the group stage.
But the England captain responded when it mattered, bagging his first against enemies Germany, a brace against Ukraine and scored the winner in the semi-finals.
He was kept quiet in the early part of the tournament but he has fully got his mojo back, if he ever really lost it in the first place.
Pressure was mounting on Harry Kane but the England captain has now notched four goals
Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 5
The Everton striker is Kane’s cover but he has been omitted from two 23-man matchday squads by Southgate.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a great season under Carlo Ancelotti last term but does not seem to be in favour at England with other attacking options preferred by Southgate.
Calvert-Lewin will be frustrated with his lack of action but he will be able to tap into the whole experience at future tournaments.