Gareth Southgate and England in the 2018 World Cup
Gareth Southgate and England in the 2018 World Cup

England are back at the international forefront and they kick off their EURO qualification campaign with a group game against Italy at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Napoli.

The Three Lions were undoubtedly one of the favourites to win the World Cup in Qatar but that was not to be as France knocked them out in the quarter-finals. It was another missed opportunity at picking up a silverware and after this stumble, everyone thought the FA would sack Gareth Southgate.

However, the Football Association has decided to keep their faith in the 57-year-old but the manager will now have to reinvent himself as well as the England squad when they kickstart their EURO run.

England have a really poor head-to-head record against Italy and they haven’t been able to beat Roberto Mancini’s side in their previous six meetings(3L and 3D). Roberto Mancini has claimed that Italy vs England games have become a classic but the Three Lions need to win this week because their qualifiers group is not an easy one.

It will be interesting to see what approach Southgate takes as he makes a fresh start but one thing’s for sure, if England want to break the jinx and pick up a trophy then their manager will have to shift from his tried and tested and think out of the box.

England’s team news and injuries:

Marcus Rashford, Mason Mount and Nick Pope have all pulled out of international duty due to injuries so they will be missing from action.

Fraser Forster has come in as a replacement for Pope but Southgate will badly miss Rashford because the Manchester United man has been on fire this season for his club.

Apart from these players, the other notable stars who have missed out are Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ben White and Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling.

Marc Guehi and Ivan Toney have gotten call-ups to the Three Lions squad but we don’t think either of them will get a start against Italy on Thursday night.

Ramsdale is having a great season for Arsenal so he definitely deserves a start however Southgate has always favoured Pickford in front of goal.

Harry Maguire is another player who is the England manager’s favourite and despite him falling down the pecking order at Manchester United we are sure the centre-back will be one of the first names on Thursday’s teamsheet.

Just a year ago, Kalvin Phillips would have been an automatic selection for England but now Jude Bellingham has taken his place in midfield and the youngster will be the one who will partner Declan Rice.

Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka will definitely get starting roles so Phil Foden and Jack Grealish will have to fight it out for the left winger’s role.

Italy vs England – When and how to watch:

Kick-off – 23rd March 2023, 19:45 GMT

Venue – Diego Armando Maradona Stadium

How to watch in the UK – Channel 4


Italy to win – 2.80

Draw – 3.10

England to win – 2.60

England predicted line up vs Italy:

Predicted Starting Line up(4-3-3): Pickford/Ramsdale; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Bellingham, Declan Rice; Kane, Bukayo Saka, Foden/Grealish.