England - Italy Preview: Three Lions face Euro 2012 rematch
After the cruel mistress of penalties left a familiar taste in the country's mouths in Ukraine, Roy Hodgson's side face Cesare Prandelli's men once more in Switzerland
By John Stammers
Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Bertrand
Milner, Cleverley, Young
Abate, Astori, Ogbonna, Balzaretti
Nocerino, De Rossi, Verratti
Destro, El Shaarawy
With the clash just days before the start of the new Premier League season, Roy Hodgson has named an experimental squad in order to avoiding sparking any club-versus-country rows.
The national team boss will be without No.1 keeper Joe Hart, who missed Manchester City's Community Shield win over Chelsea with a back strain, so Jack Butland could come in for his first senior appearance after featuring at the Olympic Games for Team GB. Norwich City man John Ruddy, however, is likely to start after being picked ahead of Butland for the Euro 2012 squad before withdrawing due to injury.
Daniel Sturridge will miss the clash in Switzerland with a toe complaint while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also been forced to pull out. Hodgson has been boosted by Michael Carrick's return to the international scene, though, after his high-profile absence from the team in Poland and Ukraine.
The former Liverpool manager believes that Andy Carroll will be in the right frame of mind to play despite ongoing speculation about the striker's future at Anfield, while Tom Cleverley is among the players looking to break into the senior side after the London Games and should feature for what would be his first full cap.
Italy will be without Premier League star Mario Balotelli, who is suffering from an eye infection, while Cesare Prandelli is missing all players from Juventus and Napoli due to the two clubs' involvement in Sunday's Supercoppa Italiana match in Beijing.
Therefore, the Azzurri coach has decided to name eight uncapped players in his squad for the friendly, including AC Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio and Francesco Acerbi, as well as three players from Atalanta, who returned to Serie A last season.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- The friendly match will act as an experimental warm-up match for Hodgson and his England side ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in September against Moldova and Ukraine.
- Birmingham's Jack Butland (pictured right) could add his first full senior England cap to four Olympic appearances for Team GB despite only having so far played in the fourth tier of English football while on loan at Cheltenham Town.
- Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore and Ryan Bertrand earned their first calls-up to the senior side, while Tom Cleverley has been summoned once before but missed the game with injury. Tom Cleverley is 6/1 with Bet365 to score anytime in this game.
- The last time that the two sides met, Italy beat England 4-2 on penalties in the Euro 2012 quarter-final following a 0-0 draw after extra-time. The Azzurri went on to lose 4-0 in the final against Spain.
- The clash will be held at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Berne, Switzerland.
- Italy have won nine out of 23 ties with England, with the Three Lions winning seven games and the remaining seven drawn.
- England have won just one of their last 10 matches with Italy, beating the Azzurri 2-0 15 years ago during 'Le Tournoi'.
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Top 3 Predictions
England 0-2 Italy
- 16.56 %
England 1-2 Italy
- 15.08 %
England 2-1 Italy
- 10.5 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Aug 16, 2012||England 2 - Italy 1|
|Euro 2012 (EC)||Jun 25, 2012||England 0 - Italy 0|
|Mar 6, 2014||England 1 - Denmark 0||FR|
|Nov 20, 2013||England 0 - Germany 1||FR|
|Nov 16, 2013||England 0 - Chile 2||FR|
|Oct 16, 2013||England 2 - Poland 0||WCQE|
|Oct 12, 2013||England 4 - Montenegro 1||WCQE|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|-||Stephan El Shaarawy|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed