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Italy vs. England preview

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England (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Hart; Johnson, Cahill, Jagielka, Baines; Gerrard, Henderson; Sterling; Lallana, Rooney, Welbeck; Sturridge.
Out: Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee).
Test: Welbeck (thigh).

Italy (Possible, 4-4-2): Sirigu; Abate, Bonucci, Bonucci, Chiellini; De Rossi, Candreva, Pirlo, Marchisio; Balotelli, Cassano.
Out: De Sciglio (calf), Buffon (ankle).

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Holland).

Betting: England 2-1, Italy 8-5, Draw 15-8.

Team News 
Theo Walcott is back home, recovering from a knee injury, while Arsenal team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out after damaging his medial knee ligaments, but should be available to face Uruguay.

Danny Welbeck is expected to get the nod over Raheem Sterling provided he is fully fit following a thigh strain.

Italy have been dealt a double blow with first-choice left-back Mattia De Sciglio ruled out with a calf injury, and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon unable to feature after damging an akle.

Cesare Prandelli must shuffle his defence and with with few options available to him he may switch centre-half Giorgio Chiellini to left-back and chose between Leonardo Bonucci or Gabriel Paletta alongside Andrea Barzagli in the centre of Italy’s defence.

Buffon’s place should go to Paris St-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.

Match Notes 
These countries have played 24 times with England winning eight; Italy nine and seven matches drawn.

One of those stalemates was at Euro 2012 when, in the quarter-finals, England lost on penalties after a 0-0 draw in Kiev.

On that night England had problems with the ageless Andrea Pirlo and just how they cope with the 35-year-old should determine the outcome of this game.

Italy will shuffle their defence which could benefit England, in particularly the quicker players.

Stat of the game: England defender Phil Jagielka scored the first of his two England goals against Italy, in August 2012.

John Ley’s prediction: England 1 Italy 0.

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