While England and Italy are two of the true soccer hotbeds in the world, they don't have a deep international history against one another. The head-to-head record is close, but Italy has the edge in the biggest games – at World Cups, World Cup qualifying and European championships. Here's a look at the seven matches these teams have played in those competitions heading into Saturday's World Cup showdown at Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil
Nov. 17, 1976 Italy 2, England 0, World Cup qualifying, Olympic Stadium (Rome, Italy)
With only one spot out of a qualifying group featuring these two powerhouses and lightweights Finland and Luxembourg, the home-and-home series between England and Italy loomed large. Giancarlo Antognoni scored off a free kick in the 36th minute and Roberto Bettega added insurance on a header in the 77th minute.
Nov. 16, 1977 England 2, Italy 0, World Cup qualifying, Wembley Stadium (London, England)
England had to run up the score to have any chance of qualifying, but fell well short. Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking scored for the home side as England missed its second consecutive World Cup. Italy went on to finish fourth in Argentina in 1978.
June 15, 1980 Italy 1, England 0, European championships – group stage, Stadio Communale (Turin, Italy)
Once again, it was heartbreak for the English as they were eliminated from championship contention with this loss. Marco Tardelli scored with just over 10 minutes left in regulation time to give the hosts the victory. Italy, however, settled for a 0-0 draw in its next match against Belgium, taking it out of the title hunt. The home team ended up fourth after losing on penalty kicks to Czechoslovakia.
July 7, 1990 Italy 2, England 1, World Cup – third-place match, Stadio San Nicola (Bari, Italy)
After both teams lost in penalty kicks in the semifinals, they were left to clash for third place. Salvatore Schillaci's penalty in the 86th minute broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Italians yet another big victory over England. That goal came five minutes after England's David Platt tied things up. Roberto Baggio opened the scoring for Italy.
Feb. 12, 1997 Italy 1, England 0, World Cup qualifying, Wembley Stadium (London, England)
Just one year after coming to England to play for Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola gave the country just another soccer letdown vs. Italy. The striker scored the lone goal in the 19th minute in the opening match of a home-and-home series between the two sides.
Oct. 11, 1997 England 0, Italy 0, World Cup qualifying, Olympic Stadium (Rome, Italy)
Despite the earlier setback against Italy, England was still in control of its fate heading into this one. It needed just a draw to advance and got it in a hostile environment. Italy had to take the long road to France 1998, beating Russia in a playoff to advance. However, neither Italy or England was still standing when the Cup semifinals rolled around.
June 24, 2012 Italy 0, England 0 (Italy wins 4-2 on penalty kicks), European championships – quarterfinal, Olympic Stadium (Kiev, Ukraine)
After 120 goalless minutes, England's Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed in the penalty kick portion of the fixture, opening the door for Italy to advance to the semifinals. “I'm not going to apologize for anything,” England manager Roy Hodgson said. “Ashley Cole and Ashley Young have both had success in penalties in the past. You've seen that.” Not on this night, though. Italy, meanwhile, went through to the final before falling 4-0 against Spain.