Italy vs England: UEFA Nations League Preview, Matchday 5, 2022
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

England make the trip to the home of the Euro 2020 champions on Friday, hoping to save their Nations League campaign.

The Three Lions have endured a disappointing time in the UEFA competition, and they currently sit bottom of Group Three.

Relegation to League B is a serious possibility, but it is perhaps more important for England to have their eyes on the World Cup and prepare for their first group game against Iran on 21 November.

Southgate's side produced poor performances back in June as they were beaten home and away by Hungary, while also being held by Italy and Germany.

Italy are led by former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, and they remain as tough a test as ever.

That is despite the Azzurri failing to qualify for the World Cup this winter after they suffered an embarrassing defeat to North Macedonia in March.

The Italians have had a slightly better Nations League campaign than England thus far, and they will have their eyes on leapfrogging Hungary and Germany to qualify for the finals next summer.

  • Team News - Italy

West Ham United striker Gianluca Scamacca and Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto were called up to the squad by Roberto Mancini for this month's double-header against England and Hungary.

Both will be hoping to get some minutes on Friday, and if they do get on the pitch, they will fancy their chances of doing some damage against a depleted England back-line.

Paris St Germain's Marco Verratti and Lorenzo Pellegrini of Roma had to pull out of the squad due to injury.

  • Team News - England

Aaron Ramsdale will likely get the opportunity to put himself forward for a possible starting berth at the World Cup.

England number one Jordan Pickford is currently out injured with a thigh injury, leaving the door open for Ramsdale or Nick Pope to deputise.

Kalvin Phillips was forced to withdraw from the squad with a shoulder injury, which could require surgery, putting himself in a race against time to be fit for Qatar.

Jordan Henderson has replaced him in the squad, but it is 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham who is expected to start.

John Stones is suspended for the match after he was sent off during June's 4-0 defeat to Hungary at Molineux.

  • Previous meetings

The two sides met back in June and served up a 0-0 stalemate, but presumably, the players were more focused on the summer break after a long season.

They also met famously in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, with the Azzurri winning on penalties following a 1-1 draw in normal time.

  • Ones to watch

Nicolo Barella - Italy

The Inter Milan box-to-box midfielder will be a vital figure in the middle of the pitch for Mancini, and England will have to play well to neutralise him.

He has been regularly linked with a move to the Premier League in the past, with Liverpool thought to be keen admirers.

He is one of the star men for his country and is a regular for the Azzurri, despite the excellent midfield players that Mancini has to pick from.

Harry Kane - England

The England captain now sits just three goals short of Wayne Rooney's goalscoring record for the Three Lions.

Kane has hit 50 goals for his country, and although it might be a tough ask to reach the record on Friday, he will feel he can get within touching distance of it.

A special mention also for Brentford's Ivan Toney, who has earned his first England call-up, and he will feel he can be Kane's back-up in Qatar if he impresses during the international break.

  • Potential line-ups

Italy: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Bonucci, Emerson; Jorginho, Tonali, Barella; Gnonto, Grifo, Immobile

England: Ramsdale; James, Tomori, Maguire, Trippier; Rice, Bellingham; Sterling, Mount, Saka; Kane

  • Where to watch

The match will kick off at 7:45 pm on Friday, and you will be able to watch live on Channel 4 in the UK, with coverage beginning at 7 pm.

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