Italy and England go head-to-head at San Siro this evening in a genuine relegation six-pointer. Both teams have toiled in Nations League A Group 3 so far and with just two matches left to reverse the situation, a win for either side in Milan would be crucial.
Below, you can find a collection of stats with key info on corners, cards, shots, xG, assists, goals and more from the teams’ World Cup qualification campaigns, all of which can be used to construct better bet builders for the game.
Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Matteo Politano are all out injured for Italy. Ciro Immobile and Sandro Tonali are also late additions to the injury list.
Roberto Mancini must decide whether to start with a 3-5-2 or 4-3-3 system against England. 18-year-old Leeds attacker Wilfried Gnonto started and scored against Germany in Italy’s last fixture in June and he could feature again this evening.
Gareth Southgate has been fielding plenty of questions about Harry Maguire in the build-up to today’s game, though the out-of-form Man Utd skipper is expected to start in a back three against Italy.
Jude Bellingham should start in midfield with Declan Rice, while Phil Foden is favourite to start in attack alongside Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.
Italy were famously denied a place at the World Cup by North Macedonia in the playoffs in March, though their underlying stats from the initial group stage highlighted the team’s defensive strength.
Italy conceded just 0.33 goals p/90, while their xG against (0.85) and shots on target against (1.78 p/90) were also impressively low. The Italians were goal-shy at the other end however, where they hit the net just 1.44 times per 90 minutes.
In contrast to their woes in the Nations League, England were near unstoppable during their World Cup qualification run. The Three Lions scored more often (39 goals) than any other European side and their xG for (2.16) and shots on target for (7.10) figures per 90 underpinned how lethal they were in the final third.
England’s cards against numbers (3.00 p/90) were also notably high, while their corners against figures (0.80) were very low.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Central striker Ciro Immobile ranked highest for Italy during the team’s World Cup qualifiers for both shots (5.81) and shots on target (3.13) per 90 minutes, and his late injury will come in untimely fashion for Roberto Mancini. Attack-minded left-back Emerson Palmieri will offer a threat from wider positions (1.29 shots p/90).
With players like Andrea Belotti, Domenico Berardi, Federico Chiesa and Lorenzo Insigne all absent from Italy’s squad, a number of more defensive players rank higher for shooting stats than they normally would. Wilfried Gnonto didn’t feature in the World Cup qualifiers, though the teenager has been hitting 1.33 shots per 90 in the Nations League.
England captain Harry Kane led from the front during the Three Lions’ World Cup qualification campaign, where he posted a prolific 5.08 shots and 2.92 shots per 90 minutes.
Raheem Sterling – who could creep into England’s top 20 all-time appearances list this evening – hit 2.68 shots p/90, while Jude Bellingham racked up numerous attempts from midfield (2.41 shots p/90).
Player Goals and Assists
Italy scored a modest 13 goals in eight games in their World Cup qualification group with Lazio hitman Ciro Immobile and Napoli pair Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Giacomo Raspadori all chipping in with two efforts each.
Toronto FC winger Federico Bernardeschi (2) was the team’s leading assist maker, though he didn’t make the cut for Roberto Mancini’s current squad.
Harry Kane notched a whopping 12 goals and two assists in eight appearances for England during the team’s strong World Cup qualification campaign, with four of his strikes delivered from the penalty spot. The heavily criticised Harry Maguire was also a potent weapon from set pieces (four goals).
Raheem Sterling managed to collect four goal contributions (2G, 2A) in seven games, while Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka provided three goals and an assist in just five appearances (three starts).
Inter Milan star Nicolo Barella has a combative streak and he committed 1.07 fouls per 90 for Italy in their World Cup qualification fixtures, picking up one caution along the way. Fellow midfielder Sandro Tonali’s numbers (1.00 fouls, 1 card) were almost identical, and his dogged playstyle will be sorely missed in Mancini’s midfield.
Giovanni Di Lorenzo (1.16 fouls p/90) has a cynical side to his game at times, while Inter Milan centre-back, Alessandro Bastoni, who isn’t listed, has already been carded three times at club level this term.
Jack Grealish (4.29) was England’s most-fouled player during the nation’s World Cup qualifiers, though the Manchester City schemer isn’t expected to start in Italy this evening.
Unsurprisingly, key attacking duo Harry Kane (2.46) and Raheem Sterling (2.26) were regularly targeted by defenders and both players should draw plenty of attention at San Siro, particularly from Bastoni and Di Lorenzo.
Reece James (fouled 1.67 p/90) is a valuable weapon down the right for England and he could collide with former Chelsea teammate Emerson Palmieri. The Italian defender committed two fouls when he last started a competitive fixture for Italy against North Macedonia in March.
Match-Ups to watch
Alessandro Bastoni vs Harry Kane
Giovanni Di Lorenzo vs Raheem Sterling
Emerson Palmieri vs Reece James
Harry Maguire (1.27 fouls p/90) is prone to an awkward challenge or two, particularly when England’s lines are broken and he’s chasing opponents back towards his own goal.
West Ham anchorman Declan Rice (1.00 fouls p/90) is the Three Lions’ chief destroyer in midfield, while Harry Kane (0.92 fouls, 1 card) often likes to get physical with his markers.
Both Jorginho (fouled 1.30 times p/90) and Nicolo Barella (1.79) can split defensive lines with their passing from deep and Declan Rice will need to be right on top of his Italian counterparts this evening. There is some serious card potential in there.
Italy’s fullbacks Emerson Palmieri (1.45 p/90) and Giovanni Di Lorenzo (1.40 p/90) drew ill-timed tackles during the World Cup qualification phase, but we recommend looking to 18-year-old attacker Wilfried Gnonto instead.
The wonderkid has been fouled 2.5 times per 90 minutes in the Nations League and his quick feet could trouble Harry Maguire.
Match-Ups to watch
Declan Rice vs Nicolo Barella
Harry Maguire vs Wilfried Gnonto
Declan Rice vs Jorginho
Although England’s chances in the Nations League are on the thinnest of threads, this should prove to be a strong test before the World Cup in 60 days.
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