Italy’s Marco Verratti relishing midfield battle with England in ‘epic’ Euros final

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Marco Verratti is relishing Sunday's midfield battle against England and sees it as key in what will be an "epic" contest.

Verratti and his fellow Italian midfielders have been vital to the Azzurri's success under Roberto Mancini as the manager looks to add a 34th game to their record unbeaten run this weekend and win Euro 2020.

While Spain dominated the ball in their semi-final defeat on penalties to Italy, Verratti is challenging his teammates to dominate Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips in the final at Wembley.

"This match and the one against Spain are two very different games," Verratti said. "Here it could be the area where we can and must make the difference. We have to create the rhythm, we need to have a great match.

"England is a very physical team, and they have players who are very skilled as well. We will face a very, very tough team, they will be playing at home, they know the stadium well. But it is a dream for us to win this European Championship.

"They conceded only one goal, so it is a very solid team, great players, very balanced, and I think they did deserve to get to the final. Now it's all down to the final, which I think will be an epic final, and history-making either way."

While England will have the backing of the majority of the 66,000 supporters inside Wembley, Verratti says his side will not be cowed by the atmosphere.

"Surely the supporters will factor in somehow," said the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder. "But we're all professional players, we know what it is to play in fan-packed stadiums, and somehow this will drive us as well."

England are counting on that backing to give them a huge boost in their pursuit of history, and former Three Lions manager Fabio Capello has warned his compatriots that they'll need huge personality to meet the challenge.

"England Wembley can give a lot of pressure," Capello told Corriere dello Sport. "There is the famous Wembley scream that helps you, but when you meet teams with personality it can also block you. The Azzurri will need personality."

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