The latest squad news from both nations ahead of a crucial match.
Following a 1-0 friendly victory over Australia on Friday, England is back in UEFA European Championship qualification action, aware that a victory over Italy will qualify them for the tournament in Germany next summer.
England and Italy are both strong teams in the football world, winning numerous honors in international competitions and possessing numerous excellent players. Two heavyweight nations collide at Wembley Stadium as England play host to European champions Italy.
The match is an exact replica of the Euro 2020 championship fixture, which the Three Lions lost to the Azzurri in an agonising penalty shoot-out 27 months ago.
Since that defeat, England have responded by reaching the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup, where their dreams ended in a narrow defeat to finalists France, while Italy missed out on the tournament altogether after a shock play-off defeat to North Macedonia.
England team news
Gareth Southgate’s side remains unbeaten after five matches in Group C, recording four wins along the way. With four victories and a draw through their first five games, England is now leading in the race to qualify for Euro 2024 and sits atop the qualification group. England is now in an enviable qualifying situation, with the next two games facing Malta at home and North Macedonia away.
The Three Lions have remained unbeaten in their last seven games and narrowly defeated Australia 1-0 in last week’s friendly, preparing for this week’s match against Italy. In the last match against Italy in March, Napoli won 2-1 with goals from Crane Rice and Harry Kane.
Harry Kane added five international goals since then. The England captain was rested for his side’s friendly on Friday, with the time off expected to see him enter the match against Italy in full fitness. Kane is expected to start against the side and hopes he can continue to increase his historical goals. After hitting nine goals across ten matches for new side Bayern Munich so far this season, Harry Kane remains in fantastic goalscoring form.
Sky Sports has stated that Manchester City midfielder Phillips will replace Henderson as the starting midfielder for the match. Henderson is expected to serve as a substitute in this game, while Phillips will start for the first time since March. He will form a midfield trio with Rice and Bellingham. Although Phillips lacked opportunities at Manchester City, his defensive ability convinced Southgate to provide him with a starting position.
Italy team news
Italy achieved 3 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss in the group stage, ranking second. After defeating Malta on the weekend, they increased their points to 10 points. In the situation of missing one game, the points are the same as the third place Ukrainian team, and they have remained unbeaten in the past four games. If they win three points in this round, it can be said that they are stepping into the qualifying circle. If they cannot win all three points, the next two rounds of matches will be even more important for Italy.
Despite Italy being plagued by illegal gambling scandals recently, they still won this Saturday’s match against Malta. At the age of 34, Giacomo Bonaventura became the oldest Italian player ever to score their first goal, and his brilliant opening goal laid the foundation for victory for the Italian team. At the end of the game, Italy won 4-0. They will face a fierce match against the strong England in the European Cup qualifiers on Tuesday.
Although the Italian team is still strong, it is clearly no longer a leading presence, so this away game will present a challenge. The team has recently faced some difficulties due to the football betting scandal, with Tonali and Zaniolo choosing to withdraw from the training camp, which has weakened the team to a certain extent. Therefore, in this game, we believe England is expected to win. Considering these factors, we predict that England will defeat Italy 1-0 in this match. Although England did not perform well in their last matches, with a large number of well-rested stars returning, they are expected to secure their place in next year’s competition with a difficult victory.
Live stream information
England vs Italy is scheduled for a 7.45pm BST kick-off today, Tuesday October 17, 2023, at Wembley Stadium. You can watch England vs Italy televised live on free-to-air Channel 4, with coverage beginning at 7pm. Fans can also catch the contest live for free online via the Channel 4 app and website.
Featured image by Wembley Stadium via Twitter