Following a comprehensive 1-0 win over the Netherlands at Amsterdam last time out, Gareth Southgate’s side play host to another side who failed to qualify for the World Cup.
Italy are coming off the back of a 2-0 defeat to Argentina at Manchester (City of Manchester Stadium), so will be raring to earn a positive result. Following the loss, Italy now haven’t won in three and will be raring to pick up a valuable performance here.
England on the other hand, haven’t beaten Italy since August 2012 and will be keen to earn a win.
This’ll be the sides first meeting in almost exactly three years. Last time they met, both sides played out a 1-1 draw in Turin. On that day, a first-half goal from Graziano Pelle was the difference in the first half, before England hit back in the second half with a goal from Andros Townsend.
Jack Wilshere – who missed the last match through a minor injury will also sit out this match through the same problem, whilst Joe Gomez – who has withdrawn from the squad, will be checked for further assessment [at Liverpool] after picking up an injury 10 minutes into last weeks friendly.
Southgate has confirmed changes from the win over the Netherlands will be made with the England manager alluding to a “tweak to the system”.
On the goalkeeping front, Southgate has been impressed with Everton man Jordan Pickford, as he battles for a potential No.1 spot.
One play that stood out was his lead-up to the goal last week. Despite that, I feel Gareth Southgate may opt to utilise Jack Butland to continue his experiments (has since been confirmed).
The likes of Lewis Cook, Alfie Mawson, James Tarkowski, and Nick Pope didn’t feature in the win over the Netherlands but could take part in some capacity at Wembley.
Though the opponents won’t be featuring in Russia this Summer, that’s no reason to not take this game seriously. Having said that, there’ll be changes aplenty.
I’m going for a draw. It’ll be a fairly even contest, but I won’t be surprised if this encounter is decided by a goal difference of one.
Can England continue their unbeaten run, or will Italy have a point to prove?