England vs Italy LIVE: Nations League team news, line-ups and more tonight



Harry Kane eager to play as he eyes England goalscoring record

Record-chasing skipper Harry Kane would love to start England’s final two fixtures of a mammoth season having reached 50 internationals goals in the hard-fought Nations League draw with Germany.

The 28-year-old made his 60th appearance for club and country on Tuesday evening in Munich, where he kept his cool to fire a last-gasp spot-kick past Manuel Neuer to secure a 1-1 draw.

England had been staring down the barrel of back-to-back Nations League losses after Jonas Hofmann struck to put Germany on course to compound Saturday’s shock 1-0 loss at unfancied Hungary.

But the Three Lions captain converted the penalty he won to seal an important point, reaching a half century of international goals in the process as he edges closer to Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53.

“It doesn’t get much bigger,” Kane said of the setting for his 50th England goal. “Germany is obviously one of our rivals over the years and a really big game, whether it’s Nations League, European competitions, World Cup, friendly.

“It’s always a big game for us, for our fans, for the country.”

Harry Kane eager to play as he eyes England goalscoring record

Kane is keen to start the Nations League games against Italy and Hungary as he chases Wayne Rooney’s scoring record

Gareth Southgate offers update on Kalvin Phillips injury

Kalvin Phillips suffered a “severe dead leg” in England’s 1-1 Nations League draw with Germany on Tuesday evening and is a doubt for the weekend visit of Italy.

The Leeds midfielder was forced off to be replaced by Jude Bellingham, the teenage midfielder a household name in Germany with Borussia Dortmund. The injury inadvertently caused controversy in Munich, as the home fans were incensed when Jamal Musiala looped the ball over Jordan Pickford and into the back of the net, only for the goal to be ruled out as Phillips was down clutching his leg.

“It’s not ideal in any way shape or form to lose a really important player after 15, 20 minutes,” said Gareth Southgate, whose side face Italy at Molineux on Saturday before hosting Hungary at the same ground next Tuesday. “Hopefully it’s not too bad. It’s quite a severe dead leg. It’s hard to know how long that will be.”

Southgate has meanwhile challenged Jack Grealish to earn a starting spot in the side. Grealish helped change the momentum of the contest after he replaced Mason Mount with just 18 minutes remaining.

Half of Grealish’s 22 England caps have come as a substitute and he has only finished 90 minutes three times for his country. Asked if he sees the Manchester City man as an impact player or a starter, Southgate replied: “I think he can be both. If we didn’t trust him we wouldn’t put him on the pitch with 20 minutes to go in the belief he can make a difference.

Gareth Southgate offers update on Kalvin Phillips after injury

Phillips was substituted in the first half in Munich

Gareth Southgate to make England changes for Italy match due to ‘player welfare’

Gareth Southgate will make significant changes to the England team for Saturday’s Nations League match against Italy, as he admitted “player welfare” is a factor.

The manager referenced how many of the major nations like Spain and France made between seven and 10 changes for what he described as “a unique set of games”. Aaron Ramsdale and Tammy Abraham will potentially start at the expense of Jordan Pickford and Harry Kane, respectively, with Southgate stating he will seek to use both in at least one of the two remaining games.

While the England manager again acknowledged that runs the risk of a poor result and criticism, he reiterated his decision-making has to go beyond that, especially in a World Cup year. Speaking figuratively, Southgate said some of the players could “barely walk in the dressing room”, after a “phenomenal effort” coming back to draw 1-1 away to Germany.

Asked whether he would make changes, Southgate said: “I think we will because I think you have seen right across Europe – France changed 10, Spain changed eight, Portugal changed seven. So this is quite a unique set of games where teams are thinking about player welfare to a degree, freshness, but also they are preparing for a World Cup because they know what’s coming and what they haven’t got in terms of friendlies ahead of the tournament. So strategically it’s a bit of a unique situation and I think you are seeing it right across Europe”.

Gareth Southgate to make England changes for Italy match due to ‘player welfare’

The Three Lions boss will rotate his squad for Saturday’s Nations League clash at Molineux

England vs Italy latest team news and how to watch

Here are all the details in quick fashion ahead of tonight’s game:

England against Italy kicks off at 7:45pm BST on Saturday 11 June at Molineux.

All England’s Nations League games are now free-to-air and shown live on Channel 4. The game can be streamed via the All 4 platform apps and desktop website.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has been allowed to leave the squad as planned, while James Justin is a doubt after injury. Phil Foden has Covid so is still sidelined, but Fikayo Tomori could be ready for inclusion after injury. Kalvin Phillips came off against Germany though and it remains to be seen whether he has recovered.

Italy are without a host of options since the international break started included Moise Kean, Nicolo Zaniolo and Domenico Berardi. Giorgio Chiellini has retired from international action, but Leonardo Bonucci is set for a return.

https://bigsportsnews.com/soccer/england-vs-italy-live-nations-league-team-news-line-ups-and-more-tonight/

Odds

England 11/13

Draw 13/5

Italy 4/1

Italy pose regular reminder that England have yet to find midfielder to truly control possession

Andrea Pirlo was underlining why ‘the Yorkshire Pirlo’ wasn’t really the Yorkshire Pirlo. He was complimentary about Kalvin Phillips, and sent the Leeds midfielder a message of good luck, but argued he had no equivalent on these shores.

“In England, there’s never been this kind of player,” he said. “There have been great midfielders over the years with different skills. There’s the boy at Leeds who’s a bit of a regista, but… we’re a bit different. He doesn’t have the same characteristics I had. You’ve always had box-to-box midfielders, like Frank Lampard.”

Pirlo used to specialise in illustrating what England were missing. He was the elegant intellectual who played the game his own way, all technique and no physique as the ball did the running for him. He was a one-man indictment of Roy Hodgson’s England. And years later, when Pirlo had already come and gone as Juventus manager, when England had been transformed into a far more progressive team, his analysis underlined a familiar shortcoming: England’s possession problem.

It was proved by Pirlo’s successors, the twin registas who helped Italy win Euro 2020, in Jorginho and Marco Verratti. Go back to last summer’s final and the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Verratti completed more passes, some 111, than Phillips, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson, Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka and Kieran Trippier did between them. And if not all are central midfielders, if most did not play 120 minutes, neither did Verratti, who went off with 25 remaining.

England may be grateful that a rematch with Italy on Saturday is not a reunion with old tormentors. Jorginho and Verratti left the Azzurri squad after the Finalissima. Another chastening night may have been averted; but perhaps only postponed.

Because tournament life for England in the last decade has tended to come with one glaring reminder of the type of player England lack, the sort of cerebral tempo-setter who takes and gives the ball, sometimes seemingly with little purpose, but who wrestles control of the game with their own composure.

Rich Jolly discusses England’s lack of a midfield metronome:

Italy a reminder that England have yet to find midfielder to truly control possession

Gareth Southgate has made enormous strides with reshaping the team but an elite metronomic passer remains out of reach

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