The European champions have seemed to fall off the track since lifting the European crown at Wembley. After failing to qualify for the ultimate showdown in Qatar, Roberto Mancini’s outfit will have to work hard to retain their tag as ‘Champions of Europe.’
After failing to brush aside North Macedonia to secure a spot in the World Cup finals, the Azzurri were battered by Copa America and World Champions Argentina 3-0 in the UEFA Finalissima.
Fortunately for the Italians, their record in the Euro Qualifiers is something they can be proud of. Mancini’s men have maintained an unbeaten streak stretching to 14 games and are unbeaten in 40 previous encounters.
The team in blue has not lost a qualifier in Italy since 1999 when a resilient Denmark side beat them 3-2. And the energetic atmosphere in Naples will leave no stone unturned to pressurize the visitors and assist their team to extend their streak further.
Despite witnessing the England Women’s team lifting the European trophy, the men’s side failed to take inspiration from them as they faced another slip-up on the international stage.
While European qualification will be running in Gareth Southgate’s mind, the Three Lions would be looking to revenge their Euro 2020 final defeat as they finished as runners-up in the competition.
The Three Lions might boast of a formidable Euro Qualifiers record having won 17 out of their 18 games but the Azzurri have got their opponent’s number on multiple occasions in recent times.
Southgate’s men are winless against the Euro 2020 champions in their past six encounters and would look to turn this statistic on its head when they travel to Naples.
A win would be a massive step for the Three Lions in hope of qualifying for the battle in Germany while three points from their trip to Naples would also mark the 50th win for Gareth Southgate as England’s manager.
Italy vs England confirmed line-ups
Italy XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Toloi, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Verratti; Berardi, Retegui, Pellegrini
England XI (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Phillips, Rice; Saka, Bellingham, Grealish; Kane
Italy vs England LIVE updates
Italy and England's next fixtures
After hosting England, the Azzurri lock horns with Malta at the Ta' Qali National Stadium on the 27th of March as they continue their attempt to regain the European crown.
Gareth Southgate's men host Ukraine next on the 26th of March at Wembley in the 2nd Matchday of European Qualifiers.