Italy to relegate England to the 'B' leagues

England need to avoid defeat against Italy in the penultimate game of the UEFA Nations League if they're to avoid a humiliating relegation to the 'B' clutch of teams in the next tournament. Though the focus for the hosts is on putting together a team that will qualify for the next major finals after missing out on the World Cup at the hands of North Macedonia, some semblance of pride could be restored by beating the Three Lions. Read our preview here:

Emerson, begin again

Despite only losing six of the 53 games he's been in charge of Gli Azzurri, some of those defeats have really hampered Roberto Mancini, despite lifting the Euro 2020 trophy at Wembley. The aforementioned North Macedonia one was followed up by a 3-0 reverse against Argentina in the 2022 Finalissima. Qualification for the next big showpiece in France must be done at a canter if he's to retain his job, and his side is in a transition stage, ensuring those in their twenties are now the focus going forward. West Ham United wing-back Emerson will drive at Reece James down the left flank, whilst Sandro Tonali will look to put the visitors' midfield under pressure with his intricate passing from a deep position.

Ring my Bell

Gareth Southgate will be missing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Kalvin Phillips, with the former being perhaps more of a headache than the latter. Nick Pope and Dean Henderson will compete for the gloves, whilst Jude Bellingham picks himself on the strength of recent showings for Borussia Dortmund. Still only 19, the youngster is highly effective in all areas of midfield play, imposing himself in the middle and possessing a knack of making late runs into the box to finish off chances. Mason Mount is set to be on the left of a front three containing Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, with the latter being one of the few real bright spots for Chelsea this term.

Betting tip

Italy are 2.80 with Parimatch to win at the San Siro on Friday night.

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