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Italy v England live: Nations League team news, line-ups and more Harry Maguire starts tonightSEDI News

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‘Pretty surreal, it’s such a privilege’ – striker Tony on first England call-up

England will be looking to avoid relegation to the Nations League when they take on Italy at the San Siro tonight. After a damaging defeat to Hungary in June, as well as draws against Italy and Germany, the Three Lions come into the international break bottom of Group 3 on just two points. They are three points behind tonight’s opponents and defeat this evening means Gareth Southgate’s men will be relegated to League B.

Adding to the equation is the fact that these two Nations League matches – England also play Germany on Monday night – are Southgate’s last chance to gain experience for his squad before the World Cup kicks off in Qatar later this year.

The line-up the England boss decides to go with this evening will be a demonstration of his priorities as a strong squad of veteran first-choice selections will demonstrate the value he places on being in the top tier of the Nations League. On the other hand, with only two matches left until the World Cup, Southgate may decide to give game time to players like Ivan Toney who could make his debut for the national team.

Follow all the action from the San Siro as Italy host England in the Nations League:


Italy team news

Italy XI: Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi Bonucci, Toloi; Jorginho, Cristante, Dimarco; Raspadori, Schamaca, Barella


England team news

An attractive England team selection. Nick Pope gets the nod in goal, while Eric Dier and Harry Maguire are among the defenders.

Bukayo Saka looks keen to play at LWB if Gareth Southgate opts for a back five, although he could move into a back three behind Harry Kane if England opt for a 4-2-3-1.

England XI: Pope; James, Walker, Dyer, Maguire, Saka; Rice, Bellingham; Stirling, Ken, Foden


Italy’s World Cup failure could be the latest in a long line of major nation setbacks

Rewind to March and Roberto Mancini sounded bullish. “The aim is not to go to the World Cup, but to win it,” declared the Euro 2020 winner. Richard Jolly writes.

Then came North Macedonia. A play-off semi-final when Italy had 32 shots, failed to score and conceding in injury time meant that if Mancini progressed to the World Cup, he would only be an observer.

For the first time in their history, Italy will sit out of consecutive World Cups. For the last, too, perhaps. If their recent underachievement reflects a strange game against North Macedonia, Jorginho’s crucial missed penalty is a bigger picture than the one they controlled and, four years ago, under Giampiro Ventura’s disastrous reign, Italy’s ability to oscillate between triumph and disaster.

Read Rich’s full piece here:


England team news

England XI: Pope; James, Walker, Dyer, Maguire, Saka; Rice, Bellingham; Stirling, Ken, Foden


Roberto Mancini insisted that England remained ‘one of the best teams in the world’

Italy coach Roberto Mancini says England are “one of the best teams in the world” despite two recent defeats to Hungary.

England, who cannot qualify for the Nations League final, will face Mancini’s side in their final Group A3 game in Milan on Friday.

Mancini said: “I think England are one of the best teams in the world. It is loaded with talent, especially the forwards.

“They have a lot of players apart from Harry Kane, who is a phenomenal player, but the young players around him can make the difference. So it will be a very difficult match for us.

The two sides played out a goalless draw at Molineux in June in their first meeting since Italy’s penalty shoot-out win in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.


Jordan Henderson finds motivation to avoid England retirement

Tournaments can pull down the curtain on an international career. If Jordan Henderson looks at some of his midfield sidekicks, he can see that. After Steven Gerrard 2014 World Cup, James Milner retired from England duty after Euro 2016. Henderson is now 32, almost 13 years older than Jude Bellingham, and the second-oldest player in Gareth Southgate’s squad, three weeks younger. sprinter Kyle Walker, Richard Jolly writes.

If you were tempted to think that he would focus on club football after the World Cup, think again. “As a kid, one of my dreams was to play for England, which was my biggest dream,” he said. “That will never change.”

It’s that attitude that explains his unexpected presence in the England squad – the midfielder has been in touch with Southgate during his recovery from a hamstring problem, before Kelvin Phillips was ruled out and was thrust back into contention.

Henderson’s first taste of tournament football came at Euro 2012, long enough that while he is the only member of Roy Hodgson’s party still playing for his country, two – Gerrard and Scott Parker – have managed in the Premier League this season.

A decade later, he doesn’t see the World Cup as his last chance to win silverware with his country. “I hope not,” he said. “I still feel good. I wouldn’t look too far ahead – I don’t think there’s any need – but it’s another great opportunity.


Jack Grealish has dismissed Graeme Souness’ complaints about a lack of progress at Man City

Jack Grealish says Pep Guardiola wants him to have “balls” in possession as the Manchester City attacking midfielder scoffs at Graeme Souness’ recent criticism of him and his style.

It’s just over a year since the hometown Aston Villa star made a lucrative £100 million switch to the Etihad Stadium.

Grealish says the increased pressure and scrutiny is “part and parcel” of representing City and England, a mentality that perhaps explains why he was able to take Souness’ latest jibes in his stride.

The former Scotland star said this week that the 27-year-old was “not a great player” and must improve after joining City, where he thought he could think quicker and move the ball quicker.

“I don’t know what his problem is with me,” Grealish said with a laugh. “He’s always saying things about me! But I try not to read too much into him.”


Is Italy vs England on TV tonight? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Nations League fixtures

England must not lose to Italy in Milan tonight if they are to avoid relegation from the UEFA Nations League.

Gareth Southgate’s side come into the international break bottom of Group 3 on just two points after two shock defeats to Hungary in June.

With the Azzurri on five points, England will be relegated to League B ahead of their final match against Germany on Monday if the Italians manage a draw.

England will also make any late preparations ahead of their World Cup opener against Iran on November 21, with Southgate’s final match before the start of the tournament in Qatar.

Here’s what you need to know.


The talking points as England prepare for crucial Nations League games

The shape of things to come

While the personnel chosen by Southgate will be the most interesting, the way he chooses to set up his squad is another question that needs answering.

Having selected no fewer than 12 defenders in his squad for this Nations League double-header, it hints at the possibility of a back three, which Southgate has often favored against tough opponents.

How he presents his formation at the San Siro may go some way to indicating his plans for Qatar and his quest for the first major men’s trophy since 1966.


The talking points as England prepare for crucial Nations League games

The final countdown

With just 59 days between facing Italy in the Nations League and Iran at the World Cup, Southgate is running out of time to decide what his winning formula is.

Brentford will push for Ivan Toney’s involvement to show what he can do after the striker’s first call-up, while Manchester United captain Harry Maguire aims to prove he belongs in the squad despite stalling club form.

Southgate now has little room to maneuver as he looks to improve on a fourth-place finish at the 2018 World Cup and defeat in the Euro 2020 final last summer.