England host Italy at Wembley Stadium for an international friendly as the Three Lions continue their preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.The Three Lions enter the match off the back of a 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday. By contrast, the Azzurri were beaten 2-0 by Argentina in Manchester on the same day.
Injuries are a concern for England boss Gareth Southgate, with midfielder Jack Wilshere and defender Joe Gomez both ruled out.
Here are the schedule and viewing details:
Watch England vs Italy Live Streaming Free
Date: Tuesday, March 27
Time: 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET
TV Info: ITV, Fox Sports 1
Southgate may have to get creative with his defensive options, with Gomez sent back to Liverpool after limping off early against the Netherlands, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
Leicester City’s Harry Maguire entered the fray in Gomez’s place, but the bigger question is whether Southgate will stick with a back three. The change in shape prompted the manager to use Manchester City right-back Kyle Walker as a central defender against the Netherlands.
Using Walker in the middle is something Southgate has indicated he might do again, per James Olley of the London Evening Standard:
Oliver Kay of The Times is among those who would like to see Walker given another chance at centre-back:
Southgate’s use of three at the back is relatively new for England. Glenn Hoddle used similar formations during the 1998 World Cup, but returning to a three-man defence now would give the Three Lions more license to play with two strikers or deploy an extra central midfielder.
The latter approach would have made room for Wilshere’s creativity, but Cross confirmed the Arsenal man’s latest setback:
It means England are left needing another player to add technique and vision to their approach play.
Kay thinks one of Wilshere’s former team-mates may be able to oblige:
Winning the midfield battle won’t be easy against an Italy squad loaded with pass-masters in the middle. Napoli’s Jorginho and Paris Saint-Germain star Marco Verratti can boss possession against any team.
Yet this is a rare time when the Azzurri are better equipped in attacking areas than in midfield and defence. In particular, free-scoring duo Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne could cause England a host of problems.
Immobile is in the form of his life, having bagged an impressive 34 goals for Lazio this season. Meanwhile, Insigne’s pace and movement from wide areas have made him a major threat for a fluid Napoli side.
Italy have the players to hurt England, although Southgate’s progressive ideas and home advantage should give the hosts the edge