Italy vs England: Prediction and Preview

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Italy host England at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium in Naples on Thursday night, in both sides’ opening Euro 2024 qualifier. We look ahead to the game with the key Opta insights and supercomputer prediction.

Italy vs England: The Quick Hits

  • England are the very slight favourites to win with the Opta supercomputer (35.7%).
  • Italy haven’t won any of their last four games in Naples, last winning there in November 1997.
  • Gareth Southgate will be hoping to finally win a game against Italy as England manager, after drawing three and losing one of his previous four games against them.

Match Preview

Italy and England start their quest for Euro 2024 qualification with this match in Naples on Thursday night. The Italians are looking to record consecutive wins over the Three Lions for the first time since March 2002.

Whilst this is the first time that England and Italy have been drawn in the same European Championship qualifying group, they were matched together in the qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup. That time around, England managed to top the group ahead of the Italians despite winning neither of their qualifying games against them (D1 L1), famously drawing 0-0 in Rome in their final game to make it to France ‘98 under Glenn Hoddle.

That game in Rome was one of six consecutive away matches in Italy that England have failed to win (D2 L4), with only one goal to show from these six visits – Andros Townsend’s strike in a 1-1 draw in March 2015. England’s last away win against Italy came in May 1961, with goals from Gerry Hitchens (two) and Jimmy Greaves securing a 3-2 victory at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome.

Gareth Southgate will be looking for his 50th win as England manager in this match, in what will be his 82nd game in charge of the Three Lions. If he does this, he’d become the third England manager to reach 50 wins after Sir Alf Ramsey (79 games) and Walter Winterbottom (82 games).

Southgate will have to do something he’s never done before, however – beat Italy. The England manager has faced the Italians four times but drawn three and lost once, with one of those draws ending in a penalty shootout loss in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

Roberto Mancini will be taking charge of his 58th international as Italy manager, with the last Italian coach with more matches in a single spell in charge of the national team being Enzo Bearzot between 1975 and 1986. Both of these sides have been placed in Group C of the European Championship 2024 qualifiers, alongside Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta. Only two teams will automatically qualify for the finals in Germany next summer, but as Italy won their UEFA Nations League 2022-23 group, they are already guaranteed at least a play-off spot.

Last Meeting

Italy 1-0 England: 23 September 2022 (UEFA Nations League)

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