England v Italy Preview

The Three Lions face the Azzurri in their latest EURO 2024 Qualifier at Wembley.

Gareth Southgate’s England are set to go head to head with an Italy side led by Luciano Spalletti in a EURO 2024 Qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday evening. It is a crucial match for both sides as they look to secure a spot in yet another European Championship. This will also be a replay of the 2020 EURO Final, which England lost on penalties against these opponents.

As it stands, both England and Italy are the front runners to qualify, with the Three Lions and the Azzurri sitting in the 1st and 2nd place respectively. Southgate’s side currently has 13 points to their name, whilst Spalletti’s team has accumulated 10 points as of the time of writing. As for the rest of Group C, Ukraine sits level with Italy with 10 points, whilst North Macedonia and Malta round off the table with 7 and 0 points, respectively.

England’s most recent EURO Qualifier saw them play Ukraine, where they drew 1 – 1. Arsenal’s Oleksandr Zinchenko gave the hosts the lead with almost half an hour gone (26’) before Manchester City right back Kyle Walker found the equaliser, restoring parity just before halftime (41’).

As for Italy, Luciano Spalletti’s side faced bottom of the table Malta at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari, winning 4 – 0 thanks to goals from Giacomo Bonaventura (22’), Domenico Berardi (45+1’, 63’) and Davide Frattesi (90+3’).

The last time that England and Italy played against each other in a competitive fixture was, of course, earlier on in their EURO 2024 Qualifying campaign on 23rd March 2023. The match took place at Napoli’s Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, with the Three Lions winning 2 – 1 thanks to goals from Arsenal’s Declan Rice (13’) and a penalty from Spurs’ record goal scorer, Harry Kane (44’).

England and Italy are two of the world’s best international teams, and they played against each other competitively on several occasions. As of the time of writing, out of the 31 matches played between them. The Azzurri has a superior record of 13 wins compared to the Three Lions’ 9. There have been 9 draws between them to date.

Whilst that 2 – 1 win in Naples was undoubtedly a very memorable one for England, there have been a number of others, including their match at the Stadio Olimpico on 11th October 1997. A 0 – 0 draw may not sound exciting, but Glenn Hoddle’s side produced an inspired defensive performance to secure the draw, which saw England qualify for the 1998 World Cup.

The game also inspired this quote from Glenn Hoddle: “…And then one night in Rome we were strong – we had grown.” (Source: The Independent)

Moving on to team news, England and Italy have almost entirely fit squads for Tuesday. Starting with Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions, they will be without a specialised left-back with Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell both injured. Bukayo Saka will also not play after withdrawing due to injury last week.

As for Italy, aside from the withdrawals of Sandro Tonali and Nicolo Zaniolo, the only injury concern for the Azzurri is that of Wilfried Gnonto, who will not be playing on Tuesday night either.

After this, England’s final two EURO 2024 Qualification matches will see them face Malta at Wembley on 17th November before facing North Macedonia in the last qualification game.

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