England face a crucial game in Euro 2024 qualifying Group C, as they host second-placed Italy at Wembley on Tuesday night (19:45). We’ve taken a look at the stats and selected a #PickYourPunt bet-builder which looks to carry value. It pays 7/1 at the time of writing.
Gareth Southgate continues to find himself under scrutiny, despite his excellent record in his time in charge of the men’s national team.
A Euro 2020 final loss (against their visitors tonight) and a World Cup 2018 semi final loss are not seen as just reward for this squad of talented players and you get the feeling he has to start winning silverware, if he is to keep his job.
An insipid 1-0 win over Australia on Friday evening has done little to dissuade the doubters and Southgate and Co. must put down a marker here to maintain control of Group C.
Italy picked up three more points on Saturday night, as they put Malta to the sword, winning easily with a 4-0 scoreline in Bari. If they are to top the group, they really need to think about pulling off a big shock at Wembley, to pull level on points with the Three Lions.
England to win
England should be back to full strength here, with Southgate looking to stamp authority on the group and repeat their victory in Naples back in March.
Italy have a fair numbers of players out injured, including the firepower of Gianluca Scamacca and Ciro Immobile upfront.
Meanwhile, England have some of the form players in world football right now in Jude Bellingham (more on him shortly), Harry Kane and Phil Foden.
In front of their home support, in a game that really matters, I fully expect England to win this one, probably by a solitary goal.
Both teams to score
However, Italy will be no pushovers here and are unbeaten since that loss to England. They looked in rude health on Saturday, admittedly against mediocre opposition and should be able to get on the score sheet at some point over the 90 minutes.
Jude Bellingham to score
As mentioned earlier, Bellingham is running his own Ballon d’Or competition right now, after his move from Borussia Dortmund to Real Madrid.
Anyone who thought that the 20-year-old would struggle to adapt from the ‘farmers league’ of the Bundesliga to La Liga have been proven immediately wrong. And how?
Bellingham has 10 in 10 since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu and will look to carry that form into his international appearances. He bagged his second goal for his country against Scotland and can net again here.