Three Lions on a shirt, Jules Rimet….yes it’s that time of the decade again, you know the one where England get to the knockout stages of a competition and we all get over-excited- including me.
It’s been a fairly predictable tournament so far for the fancied teams, with Spain and Germany making light work of their quarter final ties against France and Greece respectively.
On the England front, the campaign has got off to a decent if not exactly awe-inspiring start and winning the group has at least given us the chance to get knocked out in the semis by Germany.
The return of Wayne Rooney has given the nation a teensy bit of hope that maybe we can actually make it to the final four of the tournament, with a few heavy drinkers even proclaiming we could actually win a major trophy for the first time since, when was it….
Italy will be no pushovers and regardless of the turmoil engulfing much of Italian football back in Italy and the attitude of Mario Balotelli, there’s no doubt England will be in for a tough game, whatever the outcome.
Can England get to the semi finals of a major competition on foreign soil since Italia ’90? Will Rooney pick up where he left off against Ukraine? Can we really bear anymore commentary from any of the pundits we’ve been forced to endure? Let’s hope so.
Here’s the England starting XI:Hart, Johnson, Terry, Lescott, Cole, Milner, Parker, Gerrard, Young, Rooney, Welbeck