The 19-year-old Liverpool star has earned rave reviews for his displays with the England squad in Brazil, despite a red card in the pre-tournament friendly against Ecuador in Miami.
Widespread press reports say Sterling starts at the expense of Southampton’s Adam Lallana, amid speculation he will play a central role behind lone striker Daniel Sturridge, with Wayne Rooney shunted to the right flank.
Elsewhere England line up as expected, with Jordan Henderson given the nod ahead of Jack Wilshere to partner Steven Gerrard in central midfield.
England’s opponents Italy will be without their captain, the talismanic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who suffered an ankle injury in training.
Salvatore Sirigu of Paris Saint-Germain will deputise in goal, with Andrea Pirlo taking the captain’s armband.
[BUFFON OUT OF ENGLAND GAME]
Italy had already lost left-back Mattia Di Sciglio - Giorgio Chiellini will shift across from the centre, with Gabriel Paletta coming into the side.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Adam Lallana
- Daniel Sturridge
- Wayne Rooney
- Jack Wilshere
- Jordan Henderson
- Steven Gerrard