Preview - England vs Italy 28 March 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 27, 2018, 04:04 AM

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International Friendly
England vs Italy
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
04:00am (GMT +8 Timing)
Stadium: Wembley Stadium

Last five matches form: W W D D W
Average goals per match: 1.8
Average goals against per match: 0.3
Top Scorer: Danny Welbeck (15)

Last five matches form: D W L D L
Average goals per match: 1.75
Average goals against per match: 0.75
Top Scorer: Antonio Candreva and Ciro Immobile (7)

Historically these two nations have been two of the biggest in World Football, although the achievements of four-time World Cup winners Italy dwarfs what England have actually achieved over the years. It is Gareth Southgate's England side who will travel to Russia this summer though, whilst the Italian's stay at home and lick their wounds.

England arrive at this fixture on the back of a narrow 1-0 success over Holland. A result which looks all the better now following the display of the Dutch against Portugal on Monday.

Looking almost impenetrable at the back at times, former centre-half Southgate certainly seems to have had a positive effect on the back line. It is at the other end of the field where the English fans will be hoping for more. The one major question mark against this England side is that, solid as they are, do they have the necessary invention in the side to create enough chances to come out on top at this level?

Whilst it would be nice to see signs of encouragement from England in terms of goal threat, we should remember that they do have Harry Kane set to come back in time for the summer. With or without Kane here though we expect England will have too much for the Italians who were comfortably seen off by an understrength and underwhelming Argentina side at the weekend.

Prediction: England 3 - 0 Italy


Half time: 1 - 0
Full time: 1 - 1
Shots: 12 - 7
Shots on target: 9 - 2
Corner Kicks: 8 - 3
Possession: 54% - 46%

A little feistier than your average friendly encounter this one with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kyle Walker and Asley Young all being booked for the home side.

England took the lead somewhat against the run of play in the 26th minute and it was largely thanks to the determination and quick thinking of Jesse Lingard. The Man United man first snapped in a tackle in midfield to play through Raheem Sterling who was fouled not once but twice before the referee relented and gave the free kick. Quick as a flash Lingard stopped the ball and played Jamie Vardy through on goal before the Italian defence had the chance to react. Vardy provided an emphatic finish, firing an absolute rocket into the top corner.

This was a game of few real clear-cut chances and it remained 1-0 until the break, and indeed almost until the final whistle.

Then in the 87th minute England's 624-minute run without conceding a goal finally came to an end. It did take the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee for England's rear guard to be breached though. Federico Chiesa going down theatrically in the box but finding his claims for a spot kick initially waved away by the German referee. Upon consultation with VAR though, it was deemed that Chiesa's foot had been trod upon by England debutante James Tarkowski and the penalty was belatedly awarded. Up stepped Lorenzo Insigne to fire a perfect penalty into the bottom corner. 1-1 final score.

We aren't sure Gareth Southgate will have learnt much he didn't already know from this. England are very good at the back - although John Stones wasn't quite at the races in the opening 15 minutes - but still look as though they may be found wanting when it comes to invention and ruthlessness, particularly so should Harry Kane not make it back in time.

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