Ipswich: Italians in town on tenterhooks in the run-up to Sunday’s Euro 2012 quarter final game

THOUSANDS of England fans across Ipswich are preparing to roar the Three Lions on to victory against Italy in the weekend’s Euro 2012 quarter-final tie.

Supporters will pack the town’s pubs on Sunday night in the hope that Roy Hodgson’s team can defy the odds and make it through to the last four of the competition.

But a section of Ipswich will be hoping the Azzurri can spoil England’s party on their way to claiming their first European title since 1968.

The town boasts a large Italian community, many of whom are passionate about the country’s football team.

Esus Tella, 51, of Nacton, has lived most of his life in Ipswich but, with Italian parents, he will be hoping Cesare Prandelli’s Italy side will make it through to the next round.

He said: “Living in England and being a passionate Italian, I’m nervous.

“I’m not nervous that we’re not good enough to win, I’m nervous because it’s England and anything can happen.

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“I think if we can play to our strengths we will have a good chance. It’s going to be quite a good game – may the best team win.”

Francesco Delellis, owner of Francesco’s Hair Salon, was born in Italy but moved to England more than 30 years ago.

He is looking forward to watching the game with his Italian and English friends but he admitted it is a shame that one of the teams will be knocked out at the weekend.

He said: “It will be very tough because I want both teams to do well and it will be very tough to defend one team. Whenever Italy play England it is a nightmare.

“I hope the best team will win. There are a group of us Italian and English boys and hopefully we will have a glass of wine after the game.”

England’s game against Italy will take place at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Sunday. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

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