Italy vs England Picks and Predictions: Can Either Struggling Side Score?

Both Italy and England are looking shabby at the moment and have more questions than answers on the pitch. As both attacks flounder, we don't like a lot of goals in Friday's matchup as these struggling teams try to work out the kinks.

Last Updated: Sep 22, 2022 9:56 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Ciro Immobile Italy
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

A year after facing off in the final of the European Championship, Friday will see Italy take on England in Group 3 of the UEFA Nations League A. These two proud soccer nations are both going downhill after a strong 2021, and both will want to pick up a win in this match for different reasons.

There are plenty of subplots surrounding both sides, and they could very well impact how things play out on the pitch. Take a dive into the match with us in our Italy vs England picks and predictions for Friday, September 23. 

Italy vs England odds

Italy England
+180 Moneyline +150
+220 Draw +220
Over 2.5 (+130) Total Under 2.5 (-167)

Odds courtesy of bet365 on September 22, 2022.

Italy vs England picks and predictions

Roberto Mancini will wish he could recapture the magic his team had last summer. After taking over as manager for the Italian national team in May 2018, he oversaw a run of 37 consecutive matches without suffering defeat. That included a penalty shootout win over the Brits to win the delayed Euro 2020 tournament.

But everything has come crashing down in the past 10 months, starting with a 2-1 defeat to Spain in last year’s Nations League semifinals, as their unbeaten run ended. Then, in November, they drew with Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier that they should have easily won, relegating them to qualifying through a playoff. That led to their stunning defeat to Macedonia in March that saw them condemned to watching the tournament from afar for the second time in a row. 

Now Italy will hope to rebound from a 5-2 defeat to Germany in their last Nations League match in June, as they’ve won just one of their four matches so far in the competition. They can still qualify for the finals with a pair of wins in their final two matches, which is more than the Three Lions can say. 

England has already been eliminated from advancing and with two matches left, they face the possibility of relegation to League B. They’ve scored just one goal through their four matches and were left licking their wounds following a 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Hungary in June. 

Both teams enter with plenty of questions and a lack of answers. Gareth Southgate is facing questions pertaining to his team selection as England prepares for a World Cup that sees them as one of the favorites to win the tournament. He’s got real decisions to make at the right back position, as he decides between Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and he will be without his first-choice keeper as Jordan Pickford misses out through injury.

As for the Azzurri, Mancini will have nothing to prepare for and thus can simply focus on winning the match. Italy have kept just one clean sheet in their last six matches on Italian soil, a shocking run for a nation that prides itself on its defensive record. That said, they have been held scoreless just once in this competition since its inception.

Prior to their respective June defeats, Italy and England squared off in a 0-0 draw that left much to be desired for both sides. That followed 120 minutes of football in the Euro final last year that saw just one goal scored apiece. I expect much of the same in this fixture. Both sides will likely set up with three center backs and the middle of the pitch will be quite congested. 

The Azzurri will be helped out by the loss of England midfielder Kalvin Phillips and the absence of John Stones and Kyle Walker in defense. However, England’s lack of pace at the back is unlikely to be tested by Italy’s slower forwards, and Ciro Immobile has not scored in more than a year anyways. 

Italy’s defense will likely stifle England’s attack yet again, and multiple goals in this match are quite unlikely to be seen. Given how juiced the under is, look to the Asian handicap market for value in this one. Take the Under 2.25 with a pair of goals getting you half of a win, while anything less provides a full payout.

My best bet: Under 2.25 Asian total (-105 at DraftKings)

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Italy vs England betting preview

Jump to:
Side analysis Over/Under analysis Game info Injuries Weather

Side analysis

England have been abysmal in this tournament so far, unable to score goals despite the likes of Harry Kane leading the line. Now they face real concerns in midfield, and it was the emergence of Phillips in the Euros last year that propelled them to the final.

Italy aren’t at full strength either, as much of their downturn coincided with the loss of Federico Chiesa. Without his pace and dribbling skill, the Azzurri have struggled to generate scoring opportunities, and they’re desperately trying to find a playmaker in the middle of the park.

A draw has the longest odds in the three-way market for this match, but it could be the best play for the value. Each of the last four matches between these two nations have seen an equal scoreline at the end of regulation, and with England’s injury issues at the back, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them be a bit more cautious than normal.

Over/Under analysis

We already touched on a bit of the goal-scoring woes for our best bet, but there’s even more data to back up going for a low-scoring affair. The last four meetings between these two sides have seen two or fewer goals scored. In addition, Italy have scored one goal or less in two of their four matches in this edition of the Nations League, with both of those matches seeing two or fewer total goals.

England’s only goal so far in this tournament came from the penalty spot, and they will be hard-pressed to replicate Germany’s success against Italy without possessing the same speed. Kane did not start in the reverse fixture against Italy, and he may not go a full 90 in this one with Tammy Abraham and Ivan Toney both likely needing minutes ahead of the World Cup.

Italy vs England game info

Location: Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
Date: Friday, September 23, 2022
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: FuboTV

Italy vs England key injuries

Italy: Federico Chiesa F (Out), Lorenzo Pellegrini M (Out), Matteo Politano M (Out).
England: Jordan Pickford GK (Out), John Stones D (Out), Kalvin Phillips M (Out).

Italy vs England weather

Players and fans at the San Siro on Friday will be treated to pleasant conditions, with temperatures at kickoff in the mid-60s and no rain in the forecast. Winds will be light and gusts will top out around 10 miles per hour.

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