Thursday gives us more European Championship qualification action with Italy facing England in Naples. The Italians have had the better of England in recent times and this is a big game to start the qualification cycle in Group C, with both teams wanting to start well and set the tone.
Will England play at the level we saw at the World Cup, or will Italy find a way to beat them once again? Don’t miss our Italy vs England picks and predictions.
Italy vs England best odds
|Over 2.5 (+115)||Total||Under 2.5 (-150)|
Odds courtesy of bet365 on March 21, 2023.
Italy vs England picks and predictions
We’re now in the first international break since the World Cup in Qatar, with teams across Europe now beginning their campaigns for the 2024 European Championships. Thursday’s Group C clash between Italy and England is arguably the biggest of this week’s games and features the reigning European Champions going up against another one of Europe’s top teams.
Interestingly enough, this is the fourth time that these teams have met in the last two years. They most recently met in the Nations League, with Italy winning in Milan last September. Italy also won their European Championship title at Wembley over England in the final of Euro 2020, which they ultimately won on penalties.
It’s always hard to gauge where teams are in a new qualification period, but England hasn’t made that many changes to their World Cup squad. That bodes well for England, considering this is a team who reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup.
England may have had Mason Mount and Marcus Rashford pull out, but this is still an accomplished team that knows how to dictate play and control the tempo. Even with the withdrawals of Mount and Rashford, there are still players such as Jude Bellingham and Bukayo Saka who are arguably amongst the best on the planet in their positions right now. There’s also the looming achievement for Harry Kane, as the legend is just one goal away from being the country's all-time goalscorer.
Italy are in a rebuilding phase and the likes of Jorginho, Beradri, and Grifo shouldn’t scare them. At +165 odds, you’re getting a good price on the Three Lions leaving Naples with the victory and three points.
My best bet: England moneyline (+165 at FanDuel)
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Italy vs England side analysis
My main reason for thinking England should win this is due to the inexperienced backline of Italy which features Di Lorenzo, Acerbi, Romagnoli, and Spinazzola. This is far from as brilliant as they've boasted in recent years with the likes of Chiellini and Bonucci previously on hand.
Despite the absence of Rashford, there’s still a lot of goal threat in the England team and it’s likely we’ll see Saka and Grealish on either side of Harry Kane in the attack.
It’ll be interesting to see who plays alongside Bellingham and Rice in the midfield three, with Jordan Rice the most likely candidate. For England fans, the chance to see James Maddison and the uncapped Ivan Toney make an appearance from the bench is also extremely exciting.
The defense consisting of Maguire, Stones, Walker, and Shaw is also one that should do a great job limiting Italy on Thursday.
Italy vs England Over/Under analysis
The sportsbooks are expected this one to be a low-scoring game, with Under 2.5 goals being priced at -150. In Italy’s last four Nations League matches, they cashed the Under 2.5 in three of those contests.
In England’s past six games, we’ve seen Overs land in five of six matchups. I don’t have a strong opinion on the Over here but given the odds, I’d probably lean towards taking the higher price hitting the Over at +125.
Italy vs England game info
|Location:||Diego Armando MaradonaStadium, Naples, Italy|
|Date:||Thursday, March 23, 2023|
|Time:||3:45 p.m. ET|
Italy vs England key injuries
Italy: No key injuries to report.
England: No key injuries to report.
Italy vs England weather
It’ll be a wet day in Naples with temperatures expected to be in the high-50s.