Euro 2012: Does England Have Enough Firepower To Defeat Italy?

Perhaps the best matchup of the quarterfinals has the misfortune of happening so early at Euro 2012. While the other semifinal games are decided in the minds of the media already, this game is much harder to call.

Italy has handled the match fixing scandal in stride, and rode it to an unbeaten record (1-0-2) in match play and a birth into the knockout stage.

England shook off their old selves, and have developed into a squad that could hoist the crown in just under two weeks.

Both squads did well in group play and this matchup should prove to be exciting; one that you definitely should not miss.

Italy, behind Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano, and Antonio Di Natale will be looking to score some goals against an English defense that has played well.

Wayne Rooney, who finally played after sitting out the first two games because of a suspension, made an immediate impact in his return. Sure, he was slightly off form, but nonetheless, the best players in the world shine on the big stage.

However, will he have enough help to defeat Italy?

England will be pushing forward all game, but that means their back four could be sorely exposed. Joe Hart has been in top form so far this tournament, and will need to make quite a few spectacular saves that he has made look easy so far this tournament. Theo Walcott and Ashley Young are going to need to get forward and help Rooney on the offensive side.

Italy has played some of their best football in recent memory, and it should be enough to defeat England in a close match.

Paul Troupe is the lead writer for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and San Antonio Spurs, while covering many major sports for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter @gamin4HIM

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