England vs Italy tactical preview: Three key factors behind tonight’s Nations League clash

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England vs Italy tactical preview: Three key factors behind tonight’s Nations League clash
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Italy head to Molineux tonight for an intriguing Nations League match-up with England.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions come into the match off the back of a disappointing defeat in Hungary and a late draw in Germany, which was far from the most convincing of performances.

But there is plenty of time ahead of the World Cup for England to show their mettle and a victory over the European champions would represent a key step towards Qatar.

Here, we explore three key factors for tonight’s match...

Bowen can lose bolter tag

Jarrod Bowen came into this camp hoping to be a World Cup bolter, but he is now on the way to ditching that tag. The forward was England’s best player against Hungary and impressed off the bench in Germany on Tuesday.

His energy and directness makes him a useful weapon, particularly against an Italy side who are strong in the full-back department. Bowen can have Leonardo Spinazzola running backwards, instead of forwards.

Scamacca will be a handful

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Fresh off the back of a fine season in Serie A, striker Gianluca Scamacca is being tracked by several clubs this summer, including Arsenal.

At 6ft 5in, the 23-year-old is a force in the air, and his ability to pin defenders makes him valuable to Italy’s build-up play. Fikayo Tomori will know Scamacca well from their battles in Serie A and his experience of that could be valuable for England.

Bellingham’s chance

Kalvin Phillips’s injury against Germany was a cruel blow to the Leeds midfielder, who has been dogged by injury all season. It is, however, good news for Jude Bellingham, as he now has a clear run at proving he should start for England at the World Cup.

The 18-year-old has showed flashes of brilliance for England in their two games this month, but a strong showing against Italy would win over any remaining doubters.

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