Italy v England: Nations League – live | Nations League

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Key events

Bukayo Saka has a quick word with Channel 4. “We are quite positive. The future is more important than the past. We can no longer control the past. These games are very important, the last two before the World Cup, so we really want to win them both. This is our mentality.

Imagine being in the room when they scripted this.

Italy have three players who are one warning away from missing next week’s game in Hungary: Bryan Cristante, Nicolò Barella and Alessandro Bastoni.

England have five players who will miss Germany’s visit if they see yellow tonight: Kyle Walker, Reece James, Harry Maguire, Jack Grealish and James Ward-Prowse.

Both teams are coming out of hiding – England beaten 4-0 by Hungary, Italy spanked 5-2 in Germany – so there are plenty of changes. Gareth Southgate makes it six, with Eric Dier picking up his first cap since November 2020, Harry Maguire returning despite not having started in any of Manchester United’s last four Premier League games, Nick Pope replacing injured Jordan Pickford and Declan Rice, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden are also leaving. Roberto Mancini makes seven changes, with the return of Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and West Ham striker Gianluca Scamacca taking the place of the injured Ciro Immobile.

The teams

Italy: Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bonucci, Acerbi, Toloi, Cristante, Jorginho, Dimarco, Raspadori, Scamacca, Barella.
Replacements: Meret, Vicario, Luiz Felipe, Pobega, Frattesi, Gnonto, Emerson, Zerbin, Grifo, Gabbiadini, Esposito, Bastoni.

England: Pope, James, Dier, Maguire, Walker, Bellingham, Rice, Sterling, Foden, Saka, Kane.
Subs: Ramsdale, D Henderson, Trippier, Shaw, Grealish, Coady, Ward-Prowse, Tomori, Mount, Bowen, Alexander-Arnold, Abraham.

Arbitrator: Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain).

Preamble

The last time England played, it happened…

…so, well, you know. In fact, England are on a four-match slip without a win, having made a terrible mess in Nations League Group A3 so far. Home and away defeats to Hungary, a lucky draw in Germany and a scoreless streak at Wolverhampton against Italy anchored Gareth Southgate’s side at the bottom of the table. If they lose at San Siro tonight, they will be knocked out of the top tier with extreme prejudice. In other words, it’s game time. Kick-off is at 7.45pm BST. It’s on!

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