Italy vs England LIVE: Three Lions must avoid defeat to survive relegation in the Nations League… as Gareth Southgate’s final World Cup preparations take shape in Milan
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Nations League clash between Italy vs England.
England taking every chance to slow the game down after that nervy opening.
Maguire does well to win a header at the back post but can’t get enough power on the ball and it’s easily caught.
10 minutes played. Possession level but Italy doing far more with it.
England finally getting a bit of a foothold in the game but their passing remains sloppy so far.
Italy move the ball forward nicely. Barella has a chance to play players into space on both sides but instead drags a shot wide from long range.
Scamacca wins the header at the back post and forces a smart stop from the keeper.
The resulting corner comes to nothing.
All Italy at the moment. Some space opens up for Raspadori on the edge of the box but Rice blocks the shot.
Raspadori latches on to a ball over the top and forces a save out of Pope.
The flag then goes up for offside anyway.
A lot of space for Barella on the break but Barella overhits the ball out wide.
The San Siro is half empty. Not particularly surprising considering the Italians won’t be at the World Cup.
England get us underway.
A moment of silence first…
The teams are on their way out. Time for the national anthems.
Closing in on kick-off ⌛️ pic.twitter.com/6D5DMdZORC
Well said, @BukayoSaka87 👊 pic.twitter.com/P1yrQlFIuU
England, who mathematically cannot reach the semi-finals, are three points behind Italy in third and should they lose to the Azzurri at San Siro, they will be relegated to League B. The Three Lions can only guarantee survival if they claim maximum points from their final two fixtures, but securing at least four points could be enough to avoid the drop.
Should England and Germany both lose their penultimate fixtures on Friday, the two nations will battle it out for survival in their final game against each other at Wembley Stadium next Monday.
11 – Jude Bellingham is making his 11th competitive appearance for England tonight; he moves level with Michael Owen and behind only Wayne Rooney (17) for most competitive matches played as a teenager for the Three Lions. Destined. pic.twitter.com/Dv3RnBmz08
Back in an England shirt! 🏴
🙌 @ericdier pic.twitter.com/zTJ5KC8bIh
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live: “We want to bounce back and win games.
“Ideally, we would love to win both games and go into the World Cup full of confidence [and] on the up. I’m not going to panic too much if that’s not the case.
“We have got a great team, we have had two great major tournaments in a row and ultimately that is what we are going to be judged on.
“We are going to use these two games to try and perform and to try implement the things we have been working on.
“Of course results are important to try and win the two games, but one way or another, ultimately it comes down to what we do in November.”
Less than an hour until this one gets underway.
Inside the lions' den 👀 pic.twitter.com/K7gFWilj5B
Starting XI: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Toloi, Cristante, Jorginho, Dimarco, Raspadori, Barella, Scamacca
Subs: Meret, Vicario, Luiz Felipe, Pobega, Frattesi, Gnonto, Emerson, Zerbin, Grifo, Gabbiadini, Esposito, Bastoni
Here's how we line-up tonight 📋#ITAENG #NationsLeague #Azzurri #VivoAzzurro pic.twitter.com/cCWOWbumif
Pope is in instead of the injured Jordan Pickford while there are also starts for Jude Bellingham and Eric Dier.
Starting XI: Pope, Maguire, Dier, Walker, James, Rice, Bellingham, Saka, Foden, Sterling, Kane
Subs: Ramsdale, Henderson, Trippier, Shaw, Grealish, Coady, Ward-Prowse, Tomori, Mount, Bowen, Alexander-Arnold, Abraham
Ready to take on Italy! 🦁 pic.twitter.com/W1NSo1oT25
Gaeth Southgate has dropped a major hint that Harry Maguire will be a World Cup starter despite the defender’s peripheral role at Manchester United.
Maguire is a regular for the Three Lions but his place in Southgate’s plans is under scrutiny after he lost his place in United’s team under Erik ten Hag.
CLICK BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
"We're really determined to try and get back to winning ways." 💪@HKane looks ahead to tonight's game against Italy… pic.twitter.com/aJGNmEjQTz
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes there are up to four places up for grabs in England’s starting eleven for the Three Lions’ opening game of the World Cup in Qatar and the next two matches will be crucial in deciding who fills them.
The ex-England international, who earned 38 caps, believes the next UEFA Nations League games, which begin tonight when the Three Lions take on Italy in Milan, before facing Germany on Monday, will be ‘massive’ in deciding who makes the plane.
CLICK BELOW TO READ THE FULL STORY
A busy night of nations league action…
Friday fixtures 😎#NationsLeague pic.twitter.com/QTjFQLrsOp
Tonight's stage for the #ThreeLions 🏟 pic.twitter.com/APSPRkqOhv
Bukayo Saka looked visibly shocked as he was handed the England Player of the Year award on Friday.
The Arsenal star, who edged England captain and runner-up Harry Kane and third-place finisher Declan Rice to the gong, was deemed England’s standout performer over the last 12 months by voters.
Saka, 21, made nine international appearances this season for the Three Lions and chalked up three goals, putting in a man-of-the-match performance during England’s 4-0 victory against Andorra on his birthday last September.
Italy of course beat England in the Euro 2020 final, but it has been quite the fall from grace for Roberto Mancini’s side since then.
They failed to qualify for the World Cup after losing to minnows North Macedonia in the play-offs and lost 5-2 to Germany in the Nations League in June.
Sportsmail‘s TOM COLLOMOSSE looks at Italy’s struggles but also why the future may be brighter.
England supporters from across the country have been enjoying Milan in the build-up to tonight’s game.
England’s four Nations League fixtures in June couldn’t have gone much worse.
The Three Lions picked up just two points, scored only one goal – Harry Kane’s 88th-minute penalty against Germany – and were humiliated 4-0 by Hungary to round off a truly awful international window.
With relegation now a serious possibility, the pressure is on Gareth Southgate more than ever before as the World Cup moves ever closer.
The last time an England team went five games without winning was in 2014. Tonight would be a bad time to match that record.
Roy Hodgson was the manager eight years ago. Three of those poor results, two defeats and a draw, came in the group stages of the World Cup in Brazil, meaning that England went home early.
On Friday in Milan, Gareth Southgate is in the final throes of preparing for another World Cup, his second as England manager.
Read more from Sportsmail‘s IAN LADYMAN.
There will be no debut for Ivan Toney tonight after the Brentford striker was left out of Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad.
Toney, 26, received his first Three Lions call-up last week but will have to wait a little longer for his debut.
Marc Guehi, Ben Chilwell and Jordan Henderson also miss out on Gareth Southgate’s 23-man selection for the game in Milan.
Henderson has only just returned from a hamstring injury and was a late call-up to the squad this week after Kalvin Phillips withdrew.
Centre-back John Stones will also not be involved tonight following his red card against Hungary in June.
According to reports, both Harry Maguire and Jude Bellingham are in line for starts at the San Siro.
Welcome to Sportsmail‘s live coverage of tonight’s Nations League clash between Italy and England.
Following a dismal showing in June, Gareth Southgate’s side are on the brink of relegation from League A and must at least draw in Milan to keep their survival hopes alive.
But there is also plenty of focus on the World Cup which is now less than two months away, so Southgate will be keen to finalise his plans ahead of Qatar.
Find updates right here throughout the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Kick-off at the San Siro is at 7:45pm BST.
Source: Read Full Article