England v Italy prediction, odds and team news for Euro 2024 qualifier
England and Italy meet at Wembley for the first time since the Euro 2020 final
and live on Freeview channel 276
Two heavyweight nations collide at Wembley Stadium as England play host to European champions Italy. The fixture is a direct repeat of the Euro 2020 final which took place 27 months ago when the Three Lions fell to an agonising penalty shootout loss against the Azzurri.
Since that defeat England have responded by reaching the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup and their dreams ended in a narrow defeat to finalists France, while Italy missed out on the tournament altogether after a shock play-off defeat to North Macedonia.
England currently find themselves in the driving seat in the race to qualify for Euro 2024 and they sit top of the qualification group with four wins and a draw from their opening five games.
Many pundits including ex-England international Emile Heskey have hailed this group of players as the new ‘golden generation.’
He told Boyle Sport: “We’ve seen England get to a semi-final, and then a final, and I think this next step is all about winning. People called the side I played in the Golden Generation, but I think that tag is better suited to this one. England have a very good chance of glory at the Euros.”
Southgate’s men are aiming to end their long wait for silverware since their solitary 1966 World Cup title, but in order to do so they must first navigate their way to next year’s tournament in Germany.
England know that a victory over Italy will be enough to secure top-spot and a place at next summer’s Euros but who is the bookmakers favourite to win the clash? Here’s all you need to know.
England vs Italy team news
Gareth Southgate will revert back to his strongest starting XI ahead of the crucial clash with Italy.
A number of fringe players were handed opportunities for the Three Lions in their most recent 1-0 win over Australia, but the likes of Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are all expected to return.
Southgate is without a natural left back in his squad and Kieran Trippier’s versatility could see him start on the left hand side.
Bukayo Saka is the most notable absentee for the Three Lions, which leaves a space up front for either Phil Foden or Marcus Rashford.
Italy are without Premier League duo Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo who were both caught up in gambling allegations whilst withdrawing from international duty.
Federico Chiesa, Ivan Provedel and Mattia Zaccagni also miss out through injury.
Who is the bookmakers favourite?
England are the clear favourites with the bookmakers to avenge their Euro 2020 defeat and SkyBet have given the Three Lions odds of 3/5 to win.
Italy are seen as outsiders for the contest in Luciano Spaletti’s fourth game in the dugout and his team are 17/4 underdogs.
Two sides were locked level in the 2021 final prior to the shootout and a draw between the two nations was priced at 11/4.
In that time the two nations have gone in fairly different directions - England have harnessed the talents of Jude Bellingham, Declan Rice and Phil Foden who have all reached new heights since the tournament. While many of Italy’s players have struggled to reach the same heights during the final months of Roberto Mancini’s reign.
Incoming Italy coach Luciano Spalleti is someone who could inspire a reaction from his players in the weeks and months to come. Last season, he led Napoli to a league title and he has previously led a number of top clubs such as Inter Milan and Roma.
This impact was showcased in the 4-0 win against Malta, however Italy’s injury problems could leave them with too much of a mountain to climb as they face a highly talented England side.
Overall prediction: England 2-1 Italy