The youngster played very little of his side's pre-tournament friendlies, coming on against Ecuador only to be sent off and earn a suspension for their final warm-up against Honduras, but has sufficiently impressed the boss to face the Azzurri.
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With the debate settled over which combination of attacking midfielders to pick in the scorching heat of Manaus, the rest of the team is as expected, with Jordan Henderson partnering captain Steven Gerrard in the centre of the pitch.
Wayne Rooney keeps his place behind lead striker Daniel Sturridge, while Glen Johnson, Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines continue as first-choice defence in front of Joe Hart.
Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon misses out for Italy so Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint-Germain takes his place, while Giorgio Chiellini is at left-back in the absence of Mattia De Sciglio.
England starting XI: Hart; Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines; Henderson, Gerrard; Sterling, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge
Italy starting XI: Sirigu; Darmian, Paletta, Barzagli, Chiellini; De Rossi; Candreva, Pirlo, Verratti, Marchisio; Balotelli