Italy will face Germany in the semi-final after they eliminated England on penatlies after the match went into extra time and still finished 0 - 0. Thousands of Maltese supporters of Italy have taken to the streets in cars honking their horns to celebrate their team's victory. They could be heard running around the streets till the very early hours of Monday morning. No serious incidents have so far been reported. A fight did break out in Bugibba but it was quickly brought under control and no one was hurt.
Sportsmole.com said this on the game: "There it is. England lose yet again on penalties at a major tournament. You have to admit that Italy were the better team throughout the entire match, but England did well to take it as far as they did. It looked throughout that the Three Lions may have had luck on there side but, yet again, it wasn't to be. Credit to the Azzurri, they played some excellent attacking football this evening and are deserved winners."
The 90 minutes' game between England - Italy is over and so far the score is a goalless draw. The match goes into extra time.
This is the line-up for the quarter final match between Italy and England:
England: Hart; Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole; Milner, Gerrard, Parker, Young; Rooney, Welbeck
Italy: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, Balzaretti; Pirlo; Marchisio, Montolivo, De Rossi; Balotelli, Cassano
The police especially in the Sliema – St Julian’s area, have had a busy Sunday morning preparing to manage the traffic and crowds expected later on this evening because of the quarter final game between Italy and England in 2012 Euro qualifier tonight.
Police sources told maltastar.com that this evening is more problematic for them than when the result of a general election is known. Usually when that happens the supporters of the victorious party go out to celebrate on their own and hardly any clashes break out as the supporters of the losing side remain at home.
But this evening supporters of both sides will gather to follow the game at the same place or bear ach other and after the game they get caught in traffic in the same area. Also during games there is a tendency for more supporters to drink excessively.
England is expected to name the same side that beat Ukraine on Tuesday, with Welbeck expected to partner Wayne Rooney once again. Italy will be without Giorgio Chiellini who is missing after picking up a thigh injury in the 2-0 against the Irish last week. As yet there is no word on his replacement.
These two have plenty of history against each other, meeting 22 times over the years. Italy has won 9 of those matches, England 7 and a draw on 6 occasions. The last time they met at the European Championships in 1980, Italy won 1-0. This game could produce a tactical master class or we could see two defensive sides waiting for the other to kick the ball. Either way, Germany awaits the winner.
What are expert tipsters saying?
It is no surprise that both games between these sides this century have been all square at half time and very close at full time as there is little between these teams. Italy may have had more highs in recent years than England, in particular when winning the World Cup in 2006, but they've experienced at least as many lows, not least when finishing bottom of their group at the last World Cup two years ago.
Again there is very little between the teams on qualifying form and Euro 2012 form, Italy qualified from a slightly tougher group with five points whilst England made it through Group D with seven points. England are yet to win by more than one goal under Roy Hodgson and Italy drew two of their three group games and with an extremely close game predicted the only bet that can be recommended here is the draw.
Asian Handicap is slightly different to regular match betting; usually one side is given a lead to make the game more equal, and therefore more competitive as a betting contest.
There is very little between the teams on the Asian handicap so it could just be a case of deciding which team is more likely to win this game. We fancy the draw after ninety minutes play but if one team is more likely to get a win it is probably Italy. They have a bit more class in the side than England and although England won their group and Italy only finished second in theirs, it is hard to argue that Italy didn't have the tougher group. Therefore Italy is narrowly given the nod for the Asian handicap.