ngland launch their campaign to qualify for Euro 2024 with a difficult looking trip to Italy on Thursday night.
Now into what is expected to be the final knockings of the Gareth Southgate years, the Three Lions are under more pressure than usual to convince on the grandest stages.
While there is always a certain expectation around the England team, all the work Southgate has done up until this point has built towards finally winning a considerable trophy.
Narrowly beaten by eventual finalists France at the World Cup in December, the upcoming European Championships represent the last chance for a manger to gain rebuilt the relationship between the national team and supporters to win something.
One of the considerable criticisms levelled at Southgate is a perceived inability to beat bigger names. Italy, of course, came from behind to deny England in the delayed Euro 2020 final at Wembley and, despite problems of their own since, offer stern competition.
If England can procure off to a winning start and place a difficult Nations League campaign behind them, confidence will only grow. Lose and doubts may start to creep in.
Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Italy vs England is scheduled for a 7.45pm GMT kick-off on Thursday 23 March, 2023.
The Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples will host.
Where to watch Italy vs England
TV channel: The game will be broadcast on free-to-air coverage in the UK on Channel 4, with coverage starting at 7pm.
Live stream: All 4 (free with a subscription) will offer a live stream service across mobile devices, laptops, games consoles and more.
LIVE coverage: Follow all the action with Standard Sport’s dedicated match blog.
Italy vs England team news
Azzurri manager Roberto Mancini is missing some key names in attack with Federico Chiesa and Ciro Immobile ruled out due to injury. Leeds forward Wilfried Gnonto’s promising Premier League form could see him start and there are a number of uncapped players who may be handed a debut.
Southgate is expected to brand a strong team for what looks like the toughest game in the group. Still, all of Marcus Rashford, Nick Pope and Mason Mount gain been forced to pull out of the squad, limiting the options.
Harry Kane is just one goal off breaking Wayne Rooney’s all-time record and will almost certainly start up front, with Ivan Toney forced to wait for his debut.
Italy vs England prediction
It’s always difficult to judge where national teams are when linking up for the first time in months. Still, given Southgate’s generally pretty conservative approach as well as the hostile atmosphere in Naples, a draw would seem a qualified result away from home.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Italy wins: 13
England wins: 8
Italy vs England latest odds
Italy to win: 17/10
England to win: 17/10
Odds via Betfair and subject to change.