England will ramp up their preparations for this winter’s World Cup with two Nations League ties this weekend.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions will face Italy and Germany during this international break, their final games before the showpiece tournament gets up and running in mid-November.
First up, England are in Milan to face Roberto Mancini’s Gli Azzurri, the team won beat them in the final of Euro 2020.
Southgate’s men may well have revenge on their minds but they also need a win following their poor Nations League campaign so far.
England are bottom of Group A3 and failed to win any of their opening four ties back in June.
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 taking place 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.
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Italy v England: Team news
- 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), Kalvin Phillips (Man City), 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)
- 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).
Italy v England: What has been said?
England boss Southgate: “This is a bigger than normal squad and part of the rationale is that we are very close to a World Cup and we feel, although our results were disappointing in the summer, we have picked on the basis of form and capability over a long period.
“There were certain players we wanted to keep involved this time, but that said, it doesn’t mean that this is the end for some of the others who aren’t involved.
“Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown some encouraging signs recently. He is a player we know well so if he can perform at a high level in the next few weeks, he of course will be under consideration.
“We have a number of players including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips who are not playing a lot of minutes with their club.
“It is not ideal, but we feel they have been, and can be, important players for us. It is not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to be played before Qatar.
“Reflecting on the last couple of months, clearly as an international manger you don’t have any games to quickly put the disappointment behind you.
“We have had a long period to reflect but now we are really looking forward to two high-quality matches that will be a great test for us and a crucial part of our preparation for the World Cup.
“It is only eight weeks until we will be naming our squad for Qatar so every minute counts.”
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).
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
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