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Gareth Southgate believes England can end decades of hurt with one last piece of history.
Three Lions boss Southgate can lead England to their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup by winning the Euros at Wembley on Sunday.
They face a daunting challenge against Roberto Mancini’s Italy who are unbeaten in 33 games but Southgate has urged his players to put in one final effort in front of more than 60,000 fans and more than 20 million viewers on TV.
Southgate insists the players will deserve their glory after reaching their first final in 55 years but says they now have a “brilliant opportunity” to take one last step to glory.
Southgate said: “Whatever happens now, they're all going to take a medal which has not happened for decades to an England group and they deserve it.
Gareth Southgate could name an unchanged side against Italy
“They've been an absolute pleasure to work with and I can't speak highly enough of them.
“We know the size of the challenge but what a brilliant challenge for us to have and what a brilliant opportunity for the players to write one more piece of history.”
Southgate could be tempted to name an unchanged team for the first time in 37 games, a run which dates back to the 2018 World Cup.
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Southgate’s one dilemma is on the right and whether to stick with Bukayo Saka or go to Manchester City ’s Phil Foden who began the tournament and they also have Jadon Sancho.
But England are expected to go with a back four again to face Italy but Southgate will impress upon his players that pace, changes from the bench and movement will be crucial against Italy’s veteran centre halves Leonard Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini.
Probable England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Rice, Phillips, Mount; Saka, Sterling, Kane.