England’s journey towards Euro 2024 glory begins with their first qualification match against Italy, the defending champions. The Three Lions will be looking to bounce back from their defeat in the Euro 2020 final against Roberto Mancini’s side, and their qualification campaign starts with a challenging away trip to Italy.
Despite Italy’s absence from the World Cup, they will be looking to make a statement in Group C with a win against England. However, England boasts two of the best attackers in Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, and fans will be hoping to see their side play with the handbrake off.
The opening Euro 2024 Group C clash between Italy and England will take place on Thursday, March 23, at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples, with talkSPORT providing live coverage. Adrian Durham will serve as the presenter, while commentary will come from Jim Proudfoot and England cult hero Stuart Pearce.
England’s second Group C clash will be against Ukraine at Wembley on Sunday, and talkSPORT will also provide live coverage of that game.
The Three Lions will be one of the favourites to win the Euros if they can make it through their group. However, things couldn’t start much tougher than an away trip to Italy.
Marcus Rashford has withdrawn from the England squad after sustaining a knock in Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Fulham. However, the Three Lions have recalled four players who missed out on World Cup selection. Chelsea duo Ben Chilwell and Reece James are fit and back in form for their club and have been handed call-ups. Meanwhile, Brentford’s Ivan Toney will hope to win his first cap after failing to feature on his last call-up in September 2022.
Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi is also back in the squad, while Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope has withdrawn through injury, and Tottenham reserve keeper Fraser Forster has replaced him. Mason Mount won’t take part despite being initially called up.
Italy is without injured striker Ciro Immobile, while Napoli’s Giacomo Raspadori has been left out of the squad. Mancini has called up three uncapped players in Lecce goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone, Torino defender Alessandro Buongiorno, and Atletico Tigre striker Mateo Retegui.
England boss Gareth Southgate believes beating teams like Italy is “the next step” for his side. He said that senior players like Henderson and Kane are ready for the challenge of facing Italy, and he believes that the team is ready to show that they can go to these places and win.
England has not won away to Italy since 1961, but they will be keen to lay down a marker that they can beat the world’s best to win silverware. Midfielder Declan Rice said that the loss to France would be used as motivation moving forward, and there was a real belief in the room that they could compete with the best.
In conclusion, England’s road to Euro 2024 glory starts with a challenging away trip to Italy. The Three Lions will be looking to bounce back from their defeat in the Euro 2020 final and make a statement in Group C. With two of the best attackers around right now in Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, fans will be hoping to see their side play with the handbrake off.