England manager Gareth Southgate will return to his strongest XI for Tuesday’s Euro 2024 qualifier with Italy after an experimental squad fell flat in Friday’s friendly win over Australia.
The likes of Jordan Pickford, Kyle Walker, Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane are expected to return to the side at Wembley, while John Stones could start ahead of Marc Guehi in center half despite his recent return from injury .
Southgate does not have a natural left-back in the squad due to injuries to Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, so Trippier is expected to fill in at left-back with Walker on the right of defence.
Jordan Henderson, who was booed by supporters at Wembley against the Socceroos, is expected to drop to the bench, with Kalvin Phillips providing ballast in midfield.
The absence of Bukayo Saka, who has withdrawn from the squad with a hamstring injury, leaves space up front, and Phil Foden and Marcus Rashford are the pair most likely to flank Kane .
Rashford and Foden both impressed in the friendly win over Scotland at Hampden last month and tend to work well in tandem.
England predicted XI: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire, Trippier; Phillips, Rice, Bellingham; Foden, Kane, Rashford.
Injuries: Saka, Wilson, Eze, Chilwell, Shaw, Mings, James
Time and date: 7:45 p.m. Tuesday October 17, 2023
Place: Wembley Stadium