Italy v England LIVE commentary: Three Lions in Nations League action as World Cup preparations continue, Harry Maguire set for start with Ivan Toney to miss out on debut

    England will ramp up their preparations for this winter’s World Cup with two Nations League ties this weekend starting with Italy tonight.

    Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions will face the Italians and Germany during this international break, their final games before the showpiece tournament gets up and running in mid-November.

    England take on Italy in the Nations League on Friday night

    England take on Italy in the Nations League on Friday night

    First up, England are in Milan to face Roberto Mancini’s Gli Azzurri, the team that beat them in the final of Euro 2020.

    Southgate’s men may well have revenge on their minds but they need a win following their poor Nations League campaign so far.

    England are bottom of Group A3, failed to win any of their opening four ties back in June and are in danger of relegation.

    The Three Lions lost 4-0 to Hungary last time out and must hit back with the World Cup fast approaching.

    Italy v England: talkSPORT coverage

    This Nations League Group A3 tie will take place on Friday, September 23.

    It is being held at the San Siro in Milan and will kick-off at 7:45pm UK time.

    talkSPORT’s coverage will start at 7pm with Adrian Durham while commentary will come from Jim Proudfoot and former England defender Stuart Pearce.

    talkSPORT.com will also be running a live blog for all the action.

    To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

    Italy pipped England to Euro 2020 glory at Wembley

    AFP

    Italy pipped England to Euro 2020 glory at Wembley

    Italy v England: Team news

    Ivan Toney, Marc Guehi and Ben Chilwell haven’t been included in the squad for tonight, along with John Stones and Jordan Henderson.

    Stones is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the 4-0 thrashing by Hungary.

    Henderson has missed Liverpool’s last three games due to a hamstring injury that Reds manager Jurgen Klopp initially expected to rule him out for the rest of September, but he could be involved against Germany.

    Toney, Guehi and Chilwell are fit but haven’t made the cut with Harry Maguire set to start.

    Meanwhile, the hosts are without Lorenzo Pellegrini and Matteo Politano but new Leeds United and West Ham men Wilfried Gnotto and Gianluca Scamacca are in the squad.

    England squad

    • Goalkeepers: Dean Henderson (Nottingham Forest), Nick Pope (Newcastle), Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal)
    • Defenders: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Chilwell (Chelsea), Conor Coady (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Marc Guehi (Crystal Palace), Reece James (Chelsea), Harry Maguire (Man United), Luke Shaw (Man United), John Stones (Man City), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Newcastle), Kyle Walker (Man City)
    • Midfielders: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Declan Rice (West Ham), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
    • Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Roma), Jarrod Bowen (West Ham), Phil Foden (Man City), Jack Grealish (Man City), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Ivan Toney (Brentford)

    Italy squad

    • Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Empoli)
    • Defenders: Francesco Acerbi (Inter), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Emerson Palmieri (West Ham), Federico Gatti (Juventus), Luiz Felipe (Real Betis), Pasquale Mazzocchi (Salernitana), Rafael Toloi (Atalanta)
    • Midfielders: Nicolò Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Tommaso Pobega (Milan), Sandro Tonali (Milan), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)
    • Forwards: Matteo Cancellieri (Lazio), Wilfried Gnonto (Leeds), Vincenzo Grifo (Friburgo), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Matteo Politano (Napoli), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Gianluca Scamacca (West Ham), Alessio Zerbin (Napoli)

    Toney will have to wait for his debut

    Getty

    Toney will have to wait for his debut

    Italy v England: What has been said?

    England boss Southgate: “We were 22 games without a loss [apart from the penalty defeat against Italy] and for everybody you think that’s just going to continue and maybe you are not quite as ruthless on certain decision making.

    “I compromised in one or two things. When you have a difficult run it hardens your resolve. We are very clear on why those things happened and what needs to happen to put those things right.

    “Every manager makes mistakes. Every manager reflects. I am not saying I was comfortable. I was saying generally at times, when you are on a big run, you don’t dig as deep into what could be ahead and what could go wrong.

    “The summer was really complicated but we reviewed everything and there were things we should have done better. Quite often when you win some of those things are still going on but you don’t review it with the same intensity.”

    Southgate on Harry Maguire: “Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation [with Maguire]. We’re only a few weeks on from pre-season so, physically, if they’ve had a few 90 minutes, that’s fine. Another seven to eight weeks, that does start to become more complicated.

    “But he is an important player for us and it’s important to back our best players.

    “Whatever reputation I have, I’m putting it on there. He is our most dominant aerial centre-back. Him and John [Stones] are incredible with the ball – the amount of pressure they have taken for the team in tournaments because we don’t always have that midfield pivot player who can progress the game.

    “It means there is a huge amount more pressure on our centre-backs to use the ball well and those two are as good as any in world football at doing that.”

    Southgate’s England are busy preparing for the World Cup

    AFP

    Southgate’s England are busy preparing for the World Cup

    Italy v England: Match facts

    • England have only scored once in their last four games (D2 L2), having scored 20 in their previous four (W4). After losing 4-0 to Hungary last time out, the Three Lions haven’t shipped 4+ goals in consecutive games since May/June 1954, losing 7-1 to Hungary and drawing 4-4 with Belgium.
    • Italy have conceded 13 goals in their last seven matches, conceding five goals in their last game against Germany for the first time since 1957 against Yugoslavia. The Italians had only conceded 15 goals in their previous 40 games before the most recent seven.
    • England have only lost two of their last 26 matches, both against Hungary in June 2022 (W18 D6). The Three Lions are winless in four matches, however (D2 L2), last having a longer winless run in June 2014 (five) with one of those games a 2-1 defeat to Italy at the World Cup.
    • Italy have won two of their last nine games (D4 L3), losing 5-2 to Germany in June in their last match. They haven’t lost consecutive games since June 2014 in the World Cup group stages against Costa Rica and Uruguay.
    • England have won none of their last five away matches against Italy (D2 L3), scoring only one goal, an Andros Townsend strike in a 1-1 draw in March 2015. Their last away win over the Italians was in May 1961 in a friendly, a 3-2 victory with goals from Gerry Hitchens (two) and Jimmy Greaves.
    • Italy and England have drawn each of their last four meetings, two in friendlies (March 2015 and March 2018), one in the Euros final (July 2021, Italy won on pens) and once in the UEFA Nations League (June 2022).
    • New Leeds United signing Wilfried Gnonto became Italy’s youngest ever scorer in their defeat at Germany, aged just 18 years and 222 days. Only six players have scored more than once for the Italian national team as a teenager and only one this century, with Moise Kean scoring twice in March 2019 aged 19, while two players have scored for Italy vs England while playing for an English club (Gianfranco Zola in 1997 as a Chelsea player and Graziano Pellè in 2015 while playing for Southampton).
    • Harry Kane has played in all 16 of England’s matches in the UEFA Nations League, scoring two goals and recording three assists – only Moldova’s Oleg Reabciuk has played more games in the competition (18), while no England player has registered more goal involvements than the Three Lions skipper (5).

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