England vs Italy recommended bets
England vs Italy match preview
It’s a repeat of the most-recent European Championships Final, with the same two teams going head-to-head at the same venue, so will this one produce the same outcome?
Back in July 2021, Italy defeated England on penalties, thereby picking up the Henri Delaunay Trophy for the second time.
However, when the pair met on matchday one of this campaign, it was the Three Lions who left Stadio Diego Armando Maradona 2-1 winners; Declan Rice breaking the deadlock, before Harry Kane converted a penalty.
Gareth Southgate’s would go onto begin 2023 with four successive wins in qualifying, before their 100% record was ended in Wrocław last month, held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine.
Since, England have got back to winning ways in a pair of friendlies, beating Scotland 3-1 at Hampden in September, before Ollie Watkins’ goal downed Australia in a drab affair last Friday night.
Back in this group, the Three Lions are currently top, three points clear of their two challengers, but a victory here would secure a spot at Euro 2024, with two games still to go.
Italy are part of that chasing pack, remaining second, above Ukraine on head-to-head, courtesy of a comfortable 4-0 victory over Malta on Saturday night.
Giacomo Bonaventura and Davide Frattesi both on target at Stadio San Nicola, while Domenico Berardi bagged a brace in Bari in-between.
Luciano Spalletti’s side still have work to do, welcoming North Macedonia to Stadio Olimpico in their next fixture, before a final matchday clash with Ukraine at BayArena, which looks set to be a straight-shootout.
Thus, defeat here would leave the reigning champions of Europe with very little margin for error.
England have not beaten gli Azzurri in a competitive home fixture for 46 years, Kevin Keegan and Trevor Brooking scoring back then, although Ron Greenwood’s side still failed to qualify for Argentina ‘78.
Almost five decades on, will the current England side rubber stamp their spot at the Euros with victory at Wembley?
England team news
Gareth Southgate heavily rotated his team for Friday’s friendly against the Socceroos, with Sam Johnstone, Fikayo Tomori, Levi Colwill, Lewis Dunk, Conor Gallagher, Jarrod Bowen and Ollie Watkins all in the XI.
However, this was largely with this game in mind, so all the big guns will return.
Harry Kane became England’s record goal-scorer of all time in Naples in March, adding five more international goals to his name subsequently, so will be back to lead the attack.
With Ben Chilwell and Luke Shaw both sidelined, Colwill is the most natural left-back in the squad, although Kieran Trippier is set to fill in there.
In the middle, Marc Guéhi has started two of the last three qualifiers, but Harry Maguire is going to continue as John Stones’ partner isn’t he, much to the chagrin of many?
In midfield, it’s very much Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and one other and, with Kalvin Phillips set to get the nod over both Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the controversial figure that is Jordan Henderson.
Lastly, out-wide, with Bukayo Saka injured and Raheem Sterling not called up, both winger spots are up for grabs, so which two of Phil Foden, Marcus Rashford or Jack Grealish be chosen?
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier; Rice, Phillips, Bellingham; Foden, Rashford, Kane.
Italy team news
Luciano Spalletti’s team travel without Federico Chiesa and Ciro Immobile, who are both injured, while Sandro Tonali and Nicolò Zaniolo both withdrew from the squad due to allegations of betting breaches.
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was the hero when his team beat England on penalties and, having started each of the last 38 competitive internationals, he’ll be donning the gloves once more.
Donnarumma is the only squad member who doesn’t ply his trade in Serie A or with Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs’ Destiny Udogie making his debut off the bench at the weekend.
Neither Jorginho nor Marco Verratti have been called up, so it was Giacomo Bonaventura, marking his first international appearance for three years, who broke the deadlock against Malta.
Davide Frattesi is the top-scorer of the Spalletti-era, bagging a brace against Ukraine at San Siro, before netting again on Saturday in stoppage time.
Napoli’s Giacomo Raspadori will lead the line; one of his five international goals came against England in the UEFA Nations League 14 months ago, a winner in Milan.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Mancini, Bastoni, Dimarco; Locatelli, Bonaventura, Barella; Berardi, Kean, Raspadori.