England will step up their preparations for this winter’s World Cup with two Nations League matches this weekend.
Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions will face Italy and Germany during this international break, their last games before the showpiece tournament begins in mid-November.
First up, England are in Milan to face Roberto Mancini’s Gli Azzurri, the team that beat him in the Euro 2020 final.
Southgate’s men may have revenge on their minds, but they also need a win after their lackluster Nations League campaign so far.
England are bottom of Group A3 and have failed to win any of their first four matches in June.
The Three Lions lost 4-0 to Hungary last time out and must fight back with the World Cup fast approaching.
Italy v England: talkSPORT coverage
This Nations League Group A3 match will take place on Friday 23 September.
It takes place at the San Siro in Milan and will start at 7.45pm UK time.
talkSPORT coverage will begin at 7pm with Adrian Durham while commentary will come from Jim Proudfoot and former England defender Stuart Pearce.
talkSPORT.com will also host a live blog for all the action.
To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 via the website, click HERE for the live stream. You can also listen through 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 Cristane (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 was said?
England boss Southgate: “They’re a bigger than normal team and part of the logic is that we’re very close to a World Cup and we think that, although our results have been disappointing this summer we chose based on fitness and ability over a long period.
“There were some players we wanted to keep involved this time around, but having said that, that doesn’t mean it’s the end for some of the others who aren’t involved.
“Marcus Rashford, for example, has shown encouraging signs recently. He’s a player we know well, so if he can play at a high level in the next few weeks, he will of course be under consideration.
“We have a number of players, including Ben Chilwell, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips, who don’t play many minutes with their club.
“It’s not ideal, but we believe they have been and can be important players for us. It’s not a perfect situation but there is still a lot of football to play before Qatar.
“Looking back on the past two months, it’s clear that as an international manager you have no game to quickly put disappointment behind you.
“We’ve had a long period of reflection, but now we look forward to two high quality matches which will be a great test for us and a crucial part of our preparation for the World Cup.
“There are only eight weeks left until we name our squad for Qatar, so every minute counts.”
Italy v England: the facts of the match
- England have scored just 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 have not scored more than 4 goals in consecutive matches 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 conceded just 15 goals in their previous 40 games before the last seven.
- England have lost just two of their last 26 games, both against Hungary in June 2022 (W18 D6). The Three Lions are, however, winless in four games (D2 L2), the last of which had a long winless streak in June 2014 (five) with one of those games a 2-1 loss to Italy in the FIFA Cup. world.
- Italy have won two of their last nine games (D4 L3), losing 5-2 to Germany in June in their last game. They haven’t lost consecutive games since June 2014 in the World Cup group stages against Costa Rica and Uruguay.
- England have failed to win any of their last five away matches against Italy (D2 L3), scoring just one goal, an Andros Townsend strike in a 1-1 draw in March 2015. Their last away win against the Italians was in May 1961 in a friendly match. , a 3-2 win 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 Euro finals (July 2021, Italy won on pens) and one in the UEFA Nations League (June 2022).
- New Leeds United signing Wilfried Gnonto became Italy’s youngest goalscorer in their loss to 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 scored for Italy versus 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 UEFA Nations League appearances, scoring two goals and registering three assists. Only Moldova’s Oleg Reabciuk has made more appearances in the competition (18), while no English player has registered more goals than the Three Lions skipper (5).
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT, we’re powered by fans, so come join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – in the talkSPORT fan zone.
In a huge covered room under the arches of Waterloo in London, we will bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.
There will be Q&A with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live shows and plenty of food and drink will be on offer too.
Come and have the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a free pint – with tickets for the England and Wales group stage matches on sale now HERE!