England fans will unfortunately remember how Italy won at Euro 2020, beating the Three Lions on penalties in the final at Wembley. There was more penalty heartbreak at the World Cup in December as Harry Kane missed from the spot in a 2-1 defeat to France which saw England bow out at the quarter-finals.
The exit had Gareth Southgate doubting his future but the England boss is staying for the time being and attention must now turn to qualifying for Euro 2024. With the top two qualifying automatically, many will fancy England’s chances of reaching the final tournament, joined in their group by Italy, Ukraine, North Macedonia and Malta.
Italy were something of a dark horse for Euro 2020, especially as they had failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, and they were absent for the tournament again last year. The Azzurri were shocked in the play-offs by North Macedonia, having finished second in their group behind Switzerland.
But there was some success later in the year as Italy finished top of their Nations League group — which also saw England relegated — to secure their spot in the final four. Winning three of their six games, Italy recorded two wins over Hungary and a victory against England, though there was still low moments like a 5-2 defeat to Germany.
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Italy vs England match stats
Harry Kane will be looking to become England’s outright top scorer, currently tied with Wayne Rooney on 53 goals, but there’s another man who could be the Three Lions’ biggest goal threat. Bukayo Saka has been phenomenal for Arsenal this season, key to their charge to a likely Premier League title. At the weekend, Saka scored twice and set Gabriel Martinelli to hit 12 goals and 10 assists in the league alone this season. The Englishman is the only player in the Premier League to score 10+ goals and record 10+ assists this season.
However, England have struggled when going up against any serious team, as shown at the World Cup and Nations League. England did not win a single game in their Nations League group, losing home and away against Hungary as they suffered relegation. Then, at the World Cup, England were held to a bore draw against United States and were beaten 2-1 by France. Southgate has struggled in these matches, while Roberto Mancini thrives.
23 September 2022 – Italy 1-0 England – Nations League
11 June 2022 – England 0-0 Italy – Nations League
11 July 2021 – England 1-1 Italy – Euro 2020
27 March 2018 – England 1-1 Italy – Friendly
31 March 2015 – Italy 1-1 England – Friendly
England are now six games without a win over Italy since their 2-1 friendly victory in 2012. The Three Lions haven’t beat Italy in a competitive match since 1977, in qualifying for the 1978 World Cup – but it wasn’t enough for England to secure qualification ahead of the Azzurri.