Italy vs England: Nations League Preview & Potential Line-ups

by Marko Vrakela
Gareth Southgate comments on Wembley atmosphere following Denmark clash
Gareth Southgate comments on Wembley atmosphere following Denmark clash

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza is the venue as Italy and England go head-to-head in a mouth-watering UEFA Nations League showdown.

In a repeat of the Euro 2020 final, the two nations will meet in another high-stakes fixture, albeit for different reasons.

Neither side has much margin for error, especially the visitors, who could be on the cusp of being demoted to League B should they lose in Milan. 

While the Italians look highly unlikely to lock down a place in the Nations League knockouts, a potential win here would mathematically seal another League A season for the Euro 2020 winners. 

Extending their status in the elite rank would be a morale-boosting achievement for Gli Azzurri following their busted attempt to qualify for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

Though the Three Lions have booked their spot in the winter's tournament in a thumping fashion, they risk entering the Qatar showpiece as a downtrodden team.

Gareth Southgate's men have won none of their opening four Nations League matches this term (D2, L2) and head into September's international break nailed to the bottom of Group A2.

With the third-placed Italians three points clear, Roberto Mancini's men are aware that another success would put their League A position beyond doubt. 

Match Preview


Italy suffered an embarrassing 5-2 defeat at the hands of Germany last time out as they stare down the barrel of losing back-to-back internationals for the first time during Mancini's tenure. 

However, that prospect doesn't look much outside the realm of possibility, considering the Italians have picked up just two victories from their last nine games (D4, L3). 

The one thing that can encouraage the home supporters is that Gli Azzurri haven't lost any of their last five competitive clashes against England on home soil (W3, D2).


Winless in their last four international fixtures, England risk going five straight internationals without picking up a single win for the first time since 2014.

It's worth noting that barring Harry Kane's last-gasp penalty in a 1-1 draw with Germany on matchday two, Southgate's lads have failed to score from open play during the ongoing Nations League campaign.

England's abymsal Nations League form has brought Southgate under the microspoce as the FA reportedly considers relieving the 52-year-old of his duties only two months ahead of the World Cup. 

Italy vs England Potential Line-ups

Italy (4-3-3): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Alessandro Bastoni, Leonardo Bonucci, Emerson; Nicolo Barella, Sandro Tonali, Jorginho; Wilfried Gnonto, Ciro Immobile, Vincenzo Grifo. 

England (3-4-3): Aaron Ramsdale; Reece James, Fikayo Tomori, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Ben Chilwell; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane, Phil Foden. 

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