How England could line up against Italy in their Euro 2024 qualifier

While beating the Azzurri in Naples will be a large step towards England reaching next year’s tournament, the temptation to play it safe and grind out a draw may well come into Southgate’s thinking.

The decision to stick with a 4-3-3 formation throughout the World Cup was warmly received by fans as the Three Lions went on the front foot in Qatar but there could be a swtich back to 3-5-2 against Italy.

Marcus Rashford and Mason Mount both miss the Euros qualifier through injury, along with Nick Pope and Raheem Sterling.

Yet, such is the wealth of options available to Southgate, he could still name an unchanged XI from the defeat to France at the World Cup.

Jack Grealish is competing to start alongside Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka in attack, with Phil Foden the alternative option at left wing.

Jordan Henderson should keep his place in the midfield three unless Southgate decides to deploy James Maddison or Conor Gallagher against an Italian midfield that will be incredibly comfortable on the ball.

In defence, Kyle Walker and Reece James are vying for the right-back spot while Harry Maguire is likely to be trusted in the middle once again. Ben Chilwell will attempt to oust Luke Shaw on the left.

Predicted England XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Shaw; Henderson, Rice, Bellingham; Saka, Kane, Grealish.

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