It’s another tasty looking test for Gareth Southgate’s youthful England side, as fallen giants Italy come to London Town for a friendly at Wembley. The Three Lions are gearing up for the summer’s World Cup, while the visitors miss out on the Russia showpiece.
Where and when: Wembley Stadium – 27 March, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see England vs. Italy: ITV, William Hill live streaming
Last time: The teams drew 1-1 in a friendly at Torino’s Allianz Stadium in March 2015, with Andros Townsend cancelling out Graziano Pelle’s first half opener 10 minutes from time.
England v Italy Predictions and Preview
It’s fair to say that Italy have had the better of England over recent years. However, the Azzurri are in a dark place after failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years, and the Three Lions have good reason to be confident.
Southgate’s side claimed a 1-0 win against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night, with Jesse Lingard scoring his first international goal. The Oranje are also in the midst of a crisis after missing out on a second consecutive major tournament, but it was an impressive victory nonetheless.
England are 6/5 to pick up a second win in a matter of days, although Italy will be a tougher proposition than the Dutch. The Three Lions have only beaten the Azzurri once in the last 20 years, which was a friendly victory in 2012.
Italy were 2-1 winners when the teams met in the group stages of the 2014 World Cup, and they are 29/10 to put a dent in their hosts’ preparations for the next iteration of football’s biggest stage. If you think the game will end in a draw, the odds on that are 47/20.
It’ll be interesting to see the team that Southgate puts out as he continues to experiment with different players and tactics, but England will be without key man Harry Kane as the Tottenham striker recovers from an ankle injury. Jack Wilshere has also been ruled out of this game with a knee problem, which strikes a major blow to his chances of being on the plane to Russia.
For the visitors, Gianluigi Buffon can win an incredible 177th cap for his country if he plays. Lazio forward Ciro Immobile is expected to lead the line for caretaker boss Luigi Di Biagio, who has a relatively inexperienced squad at his disposal – goalkeeper Buffon accounts for almost half of the 409 caps boasted by the whole squad.
One to watch for England: Marcus Rashford is set to win his 17th England cap, but has only scored once since netting on his debut in 2016. He’s found the net 12 times for Manchester United this season though, and priced at 11/2 to open the scoring with his third international goal or 5/2 to bag anytime.
One to watch for Italy: Lazio’s Immobile has been in sensational form for his club this term, finding the net 34 times in 38 appearances so far. He’s available at 3/1 to score anytime, and you can get odds of 13/2 on him breaking the deadlock.
Long shot: After his match-winning contribution at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Friday, Lingard is priced at 25/1 to score the only goal of the game once again. Italy’s Immobile is 30/1 for the same bet.