Italy welcome England to San Siro, Milan, in a crucial showdown in UEFA Nations League A3.
Victory would see Hungary climb to second, whereas England must win to realistically keep their survival dreams alive, as defeat would confirm their relegation to League B.
Marco Verratti is ruled out for Italy after a calf injury forced him to withdraw from the squad and return to PSG for treatment.
Lorenzo Pellegrini (thigh) and Matteo Politano (ankle) are also ruled out and have withdrawn from the squad.
England will be without midfielder, Kalvin Phillips who has withdrawn from the squad with a shoulder injury.
Jordan Henderson consequently has been recalled after he was originally snubbed from the squad announcement.
Aaron Ramsdale and Nick Pope are both in contention to start in goal after enjoying strong starts to the season at Arsenal and Newcastle United respectively.
Brentford’s Ivan Toney is likely to start the match on the bench, as he looks to earn his first senior cap.
- Italy were held to a goalless draw in their only previous UEFA Nations League meeting against England in June 2022 (D1).
- England are winless in their last seven away matches against Italy on Italian soil in all competitions (D2, L5).
- Excluding penalty shootouts, Italy have drawn their last four matches against England in all competitions – with three matches finishing 1-1 and one match ending in a 0-0 result.
- Lorenzo Pellegrini has scored in both of Italy’s two home matches in this group (W1, D1).
- Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions have scored just once in their four group matches so far this tournament.
With just two wins from seven matches in 2022 and just one clean sheet – coincidentally against their latest opposition – Italy have shown little consistency in a year which has been littered with defensive errors so a huge improvement is required if they’re to secure survival.
England meanwhile know that victory is a must especially after a woeful fortnight in June littered with fatigue impacted performances, whilst their defeat last time out to Hungary surely has to serve as a wake-up call to get back on track in their last two matches ahead of the World Cup.
Defeat though would relegate England to Group B and with Germany at home to come in their final group match, Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions surely know that a draw won’t be enough realistically so I do expect them to come and attack this match especially with players now refreshed.
Italian soil though hasn’t been kind to England over the decades so if they show up with a sense of urgent attack about them, it could well suit Italy to play on the counter so I do expect a competitive game of which I do hope that the visitors can edge if they can rediscover their spark.
Prediction: Italy 1-2 England
Result: Italy 1-0 England