England News: Southgate expecting tough night

12 months ago

In the latest England news, boss Gareth Southgate has claimed that his side will be up against it when they welcome Italy to Wembley on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions will take on the Azzurri in their final friendly before Southgate names his provisional squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

A sell-out crowd is expected at Wembley as England look to extend their unbeaten run which currently stands at seven matches.

Stoke’s Jack Butland will be between the sticks in place of Jordan Pickford, while Joe Gomez and Jack Wilshere have both withdrawn.

Southgate has described Italy’s defensive organisation as “the best”, despite their failure to qualify for this summer’s World Cup.

England have kept five successive clean sheets in recent weeks and Southgate is expecting a tough night.

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“Italian football, I’ve always been a huge admirer,” the former Middlesbrough coach said. “The detail with which they play. As a defender, of course, they are the best. The tactical organisation, the detail of marking.

“The art of defending, because it is an art, in my opinion, and it’s often neglected by people and undervalued.

“We know to score goals against an Italian team is the toughest possible test. And we know they’ll be really well organised and press us well tomorrow. So, it’s a really good test for us to see how far we’ve come.”

Reports claim Italy caretaker coach Luigi Di Biagio will drop Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. He has already confirmed that goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will start in goal, while Matteo Darmian could come in at left-back.

Striker Ciro Immobile is expected to start up-front on his own, once again flanked by Antonio Candreva and Lorenzo Insigne.