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England start as rare favourites against Italy

Last updated: March 26, 2018 by Leon Marshal

Game details

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Kick-off: Tuesday 27 March
Venue: Wembley
Coverage: ITV
Home Team Form: WWDDW
Away Team Form: DWLDL
Last Meeting: Italy 1 – 1 England
Competition: International Friendly

England began their World Cup preparations in great style after a narrow win against Holland last weekend in Amsterdam saw their unbeaten run stretched to seven games. The Three Lions will be pleased with that result, especially as they were without Harry Kane. Kane will miss this match as well, as England welcome Italy to Wembley, who arrive after defeat to Argentina in Manchester last week.

Jesse Lingard scored his first international goal in England’s 1-0 win against the Netherlands last Friday. England deserved the win, with manager Gareth Southgate employing a somewhat experimental lineup and formation. After the match, Southgate, although pleased with the result, rued a number of missed chances and the fact that England should have done more with the lion’s share of possession that they had. Opponents Holland, like Italy, will not be in Russia this summer and are undergoing a transition period. While being far from easy opponents, England may have it a little more difficult here. Italy have obvious quality going forward, so this should likely be a sterner test of England’s new defensive shape, something that Southgate will be paying particular attention to.

With the pain of not going to Russia still likely to sting, Italy stepped into their first friendly last week against Argentina. The Azzuri could have taken the lead at many points in the game. Argentina had the most possession and despite heroics from Buffon, who returned to the squad from retirement to help with this transition period, took the lead midway through the second half. Argentina added to this to finish the game 2-0 in a match in which neither Lionel Messi nor Sergio Agüero featured. With no World Cup this summer, manager Di Biagio has the chance to field some youngsters as Italy look to the long-term. The team that faced Argentina looked much the same as the one that failed to qualify for the tournament last summer though and it remains to be seen what squad will start here. With the team low on confidence, England start as favourites.

Team News

Jack Wilshere has been forced to drop out of the squad after withdrawing with an injury.

Joe Gomez and his replacement in the last match. Harry Maguire, sustained injuries, but should be ok to remain in the squad.

Gianluigi Buffon came out on retirement to feature once again for Italy as he helps the national side to transition.

Italy will wear tributes to the late Davide Astori on their shirts as they did in last week’s match against Argentina.

Expected Line-Ups:

England (4-3-3): Pickford, Walker, Stones, Gomez, Henderson, Trippier, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lingard, Rose, Rashford, Sterling
Subs: Dier, Hart, Mawson, Maguire, Tarkowski, Livermore, Young, L Cook, Alli, Vardy, Butland, Pope, Welbeck, Lallana
Injured: Kane, Wilshere
Not available:
Italy (4-3-3): Buffon, Florenzi, Bonucci, Rugani, De Sciglio, Parolo, Frello Filho, Verratti, Chiesa, Immobile, Insigne,
Subs: Ferrari, Darmian, Ogbonna, Candreva, Bonaventura, Bellotti, Spinazzola, Verdi, Pellegrini, Gagliardini, Zappacosta, Cutrone, Cristante, Donnarumma, Perin
Not available:

Head to Head

Last Five Competitive Meetings Between The Sides
Date Game Result Round First Goal-scorer
31/03/2015 Italy 1 – 1 England International Friendly Pelle 29′
14/06/2014 England 1 – 2 Italy FIFA World Cup Marchisio 35′
15/09/2012 England 2 – 1 Italy International Friendly De Rossi 15′
24/06/2012 England 0 – 0 Italy UEFA European Championship
27/03/2002 England 1 – 2 Italy International Friendly Fowler 63′

Conclusion & Betting Tips

With the Italy team in a bit of a crisis, England will start as rare favourites in a match against Italy. Though the starting lineup for the Three Lions is far from set in stone, so there will be a number of rotations and experiments going on here.

This, along with home advantage, means we see England as likely winners. Without Harry Kane though, goals may be hard to come by, for Italy as well, as the England defence is strong of late. For that reason, we’re going for under 2.5 goals, which you can get at Bet Victor.