Italy U20 v England U20
Thursday 8th June, 12:00
Live on Eurosport

Italy U20

Italy needed extra-time to overcome Zambia 3-2 in a dramatic quarter-final tie in Suwon. The Azzurrini played for more than 75 minutes with 10 men following Giuseppe Pezzella's controversial red card but levelled proceedings with a wonderful equaliser in the 88th minute from set-piece specialist Federico Dimarco.

Italy - managed by former Milan midfielder Alberigo Evani - then grabbed an 111th-minute winner from Luca Vido to seal their place in a first ever semi-final at this age level.

Having started their campaign with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, the Azzurrini have since dispatched pre-tournament favourites France (2-1) whilst overcoming South Africa (2-0) and holding Japan (2-2). Juventus youngster Riccardo Orsolini has been the star of the show with four goals in his past four outings.

England U20

England have reached the semi-finals of the U20 World Cup for only the third occasion and it's the Young Lions' first trip to the final four since 1993. Never before have this age group reached the final but Paul Simpson's side are now rated tournament favourites after a number of impressive displays.

Liverpool-bound striker Dominic Solanke picked up Lewis Cook's pass to score the only goal of the game just after half-time in a 1-0 quarter-final triumph against Mexico. The Young Lions were wasteful early on, but they came through thanks to Solanke's neat finish and Freddie Woodman's smart saves.

Josh Onomah was unlucky to be sent off in the last 17 minutes of that tie and will subsequently miss this match. But Simpson's side are confident of progressing having already topped a group that included Argentina before beating Costa Rica and Mexico in the knockout rounds.

Match Odds

England are understandable 2.66 favourites to progress with a victory in 90 minutes having recorded W4-D1-L0 en-route to the final four. All four triumphs were achieved in normal time whilst the Young Lions have shipped just two goals across over seven hours of action.

Simpson has raved about the close-knit nature of this England side, praising their "steely determination" to not just go deep in the tournament but to go on and win it. With many players on the cusp of Premier League first-team football and a squad packed with exciting attacking talent, it's difficult to oppose the Young Lions.

However, these two nations met in at the same stage of the European Under-19 Championship last year with Italy ousting England thanks to two set-piece goals. Six of England's starters that day played in their quarter-final win against Mexico and will be keen to exact some revenge on the Azzurrini.

Italy 3.00 have W2-D2-L1 of their five encounters in South Korea and conceded in four of those five matches. Although the underdogs have shown plenty of promise, it's difficult to find the faith in supporting Evani's outfit with the draw 3.10 arguably our best angle of attack.

Both Teams To Score

England have monopolised possession in the majority of their matches under Simpson but with the likes of Cook, Lookman, Solanke and Kieran Dowell at their disposal, goals and playmaking ability certainly isn't an issue.

The Young Lions have scored in all bar one of their past 19 games and we should expect the side to enhance that record on Thursday against an Italian side that's already conceded six goals en-route to the semis.

But Italy also boast quality in the final-third having scored at least twice in each of their past three fixtures, so immediately a goal-heavy encounter appeals.

Over 2.5 Goals 2.66 has provided profit in 5/10 (50%) of the two nations' contests at the World Cup suggesting there's value in backing three or more goals but it may pay to take a more conservative approach and back Both Teams To Score at 6/5 on the Sportsbook.

BTTS has delivered in Italy's most recent three showdowns and covers us in case of a potential 1-1 stalemate in Jeonju.

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Back Both Teams To Score @ 6/5

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