How England could line up against Italy in Nations League with Harry Maguire set to start | The Sun

GARETH SOUTHGATE is set to pick his penultimate England team before the World Cup when they face Italy in Milan tonight.

The Three Lions will take on the European champions in the Nations League, before hosting Germany on Monday.

The two matches offer Southgate a final opportunity to look at players before he selects his 26-man squad for Qatar in October.

And he has stuck to his guns when it comes to defender Harry Maguire.

The defiant England boss Southgate gave huge backing to the out-of-favour Manchester United captain, who has not started in the Premier League since August 13.

Maguire is set to start at the San Siro with the Three Lions needing a win to avoid relegation into League B which could affect the team's seeding for the Euro 2024 qualifiers.


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But there are many more questions for the England boss to answer less than two months out from the start of the World Cup.

One of the most pressing for these upcoming Nations League fixtures is who will replace the injured Jordan Pickford between the sticks.

Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale and Newcastle shot-stopper Nick Pope are both vying for the spot – with Dean Henderson expected to miss out.

There is always a debate as to whether Southgate goes with a back three or back four.

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If it is a three then expect Tottenham man Eric Dier to return to the fold after two years out of the national side.

Harry Maguire and likely Kyle Walker will form a trio either side of him, with Chelsea wingback Reece James and Arsenal's Bukayo Saka on the flanks.

Alternatively, he could opt to experiment and try out Fikayo Tomori.

Kieran Trippier is an option at left-back, especially given the poor form of Luke Shaw.

In midfield, Declan Rice is a certainty.

But the spot alongside him is up for grabs, particularly given Kalvin Phillips has been ruled out .

Jordan Henderson, who replaced the injured Phillips in the squad, will play no part against the Azzurri despite returning from his recent hamstring injury quicker than expected.

So you would imagine Jude Bellingham is the favourite to fill that spot ahead of James Ward-Prowse.

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Then up front, a 3-4-3 would allow Southgate to play his favoured front three – Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and Mason Mount – or he could use Man City's Phil Foden who is seeing plenty of action.

Ivan Toney will be left out of for the clash in Italy – despite receiving his first Three Lions call-up last week after a brilliant start to the Prem season with the Bees.

Marc Guehi and Ben Chilwell have not made the match day squad while John Stones is also suspended after his red card in June against Hungary.

Expected line ups

England – Pope; Saka, Maguire, Dier, Walker, James; Bellingham, Rice; Foden, Kane, Sterling.

Italy – Donnarumma; Di Lorezo, Bonucci, Bastoni, Emerson; Barella, Jorginho, Cristante; Gabbiadini, Scamacca, Raspadori.

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