Italy v England: Nations League – live | Nations League

Key events

4 minutes: England are almost undone by a simple ball through the middle. Maguire gets up and Raspadori runs off. Raspadori shoots straight at Pope, who parries well. Then the flag goes up for offside. Turns out Maguire executed the fall perfectly.

3 minutes: Barella finds some space on the right side and tries to unleash Dimarco on the other flank with a striking diagonal pass. The ball flies safely out of play.

1 minute: Cristante leaves a little something on Foden, who felt it. A bold opening move for a player one booking away from suspension.

Before the game, a moment of silence in memory of Queen Elizabeth II and the victims of the recent flood in Italy. Respectfully observed.

The teams are out! Italy wears their famous azure blue, while England wears their new World Cup kit, white with blue epaulettes. The action is just a few anthems away. (God Save the King still doesn’t stumble off the tongue, does it? Old habits, all that.)

Gareth Southgate talks to Channel 4: “We’re looking for a level of performance, that’s the key. It’s a great stage to come and play against the best opponents. Harry Maguire seems in a good place with his training, and it’s not like he’s been out of competition for ten weeks. We feel like there has been a good process with Jude Bellingham, dipping his toe into the European Championship, then starting and then starting some bigger games. ”

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Bukayo Saka has a quick word with Channel 4. “We have come in quite positively. The future is more important than the past. We no longer have control over the past. These matches are very important, the last two before the World Cup, so we really want to win them both. That’s our mentality.”

Imagine you are in the room when they agreed on this on the storyboard.

Italy have three players one booking away from missing next week’s game in Hungary: Bryan Cristante, Nicolò Barella and Alessandro Bastoni.

England have five players who will miss Germany’s visit if they see yellow tonight: Kyle Walker, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and James Ward-Prowse.

Both teams are coming out of hiding – England beat Hungary 4-0, Italy beat Germany 5-2 – so there are plenty of changes. Gareth Southgate makes six, with Eric Dier picking up his first cap since November 2020, Harry Maguire returning despite not having started one of Manchester United’s last four Premier League games, Nick Pope playing the injured Jordan Pickford will replace, and Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden will also start. Roberto Mancini is making seven changes, with Chelsea midfielder Jorginho returning and West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca taking the place of the injured Ciro Immobile.

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The teams

Italy: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Toloi, Cristante, Jorginho, Dimarco, Raspadori, Scamacca, Barella.
Subs: Meret, Vicario, Luiz Felipe, Pobega, Frattesi, Gnonto, Emerson, Zerbin, Grifo, Gabbiadini, Esposito, Bastoni.

England: Pope, James, Dier, Maguire, Walker, Bellingham, Rice, Sterling, Foden, Saka, Kane.
Subs: Ramsdale, D Henderson, Trippier, Shaw, Grealish, Coady, Ward-Prowse, Tomori, Mount, Bowen, Alexander-Arnold, Abraham.

Referee: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain).


The last time England played, this happened…

…so, well, you know. England are even on a four-game streak without a win after making a terrible mess of Nations League Group A3 so far. Losses in home and away games to Hungary, a happy draw in Germany and a scoreless boredom in Wolverhampton against Italy have sent Gareth Southgate’s side to the bottom of the rankings. If they lose in San Siro tonight, they will be picked from the top with extreme prejudice. In other words, it’s gameface time. Kick-off is at 7:45pm BST. It’s on!

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