International Friendly: England vs Italy Preview


Friendly: England vs Italy Preview
Berne, Aug 15: The Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson will go ahead with a young and experimental squad when they clash against Italy in an international friendly match in Berne, Switzerland on Wednesday.

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With an eye on the qualifying campaign for 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Hodgson will look at young talents like Tom Cleverley, Jake Livermore, Steven Caulker, Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Jack Butland.

After the disappointment of Euro 2012, where Italy mercilessly knocked England out on penalties, Hodgson is looking to bring in new faces who can be future England stars.

England have been hit by injury concerns forcing Hodgson to make wholesale changes in the squad. Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard will lead the side while seniors Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole will continue with club duties.

Arsenal duo Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlian, Manchester City's Joe Hart and Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge have been sidelined due to injuries.

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick made a surprising return to the national team after being overlooked by Hodgson for Euro 2012.

England were punished and criticised for lack of performance at Poland-Ukraine. Although strong defensively, England's Lions failed to hold possession and they were put under immense pressure by the Azzurri.

However, looks like Hodgson's revamped squad will do wonders against Cesar Prandelli's men, the Euro 2012 runners-up have named eight uncapped players in the team.

Prandelli has not picked players from Juventus and Napoli due to their involvement in Saturday's Supercoppa match in Beijing.

The 22-man squad includes youngsters from AC Milan namely 19-year-old striker Stephan El Shaarawy, Mattia De Sciglio anf Francesco Acerbi while three players from Atalanta have been picked - striker Manolo Gabbiadini, defender Federico Peluso and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.

England are likely to continue with their 4-4-2 formation as Lampard and Carrick are set to play in central midfield while Ashley Young and James Milner take on either flanks. Gary Cahill, who missed Euro 2012, will partner Joleon Lescott in the heart of defence while Andy Caroll and Jermain Defoe look set to take on the strikers role.

England will be relieved about the fact that Andrea Pirlo is absent for the clash but Daniele De Rossi, Federico Balzaretti, Ignazio Abate and Milan's Antonio Nocerino are included to balance the squad.

Probable Lineups:

England (4-4-2): Ruddy-Walker, Lescott, Cahill, Bertrand-Carrick, Lampard, Milner, Young-Defoe, Carroll.

Italy (4-3-3): Sirigu-Abate, Astori, Ogbonna, Balzaretti-Nocerino, De Rossi, Aquilani- Diamanti, Destro, El Shaarawy.

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