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    England targets first Nations League win at San Siro

    Ivan Toney

    Football   |   September 23, 2022

    England does not stand any chance of making it to the semifinals of the UEFA Nations League with two matches left, but they can take the fixture against Italy at the San Siro on Friday.

    England has a bronze UEFA Nations League medal of their own after finishing in third place in the inaugural edition, but they are yet to win a game in the UNL this time around.

    However, Gareth Southgate will use the opportunity to test his best legs ahead of the World Cup, which starts in November. 

    Already he has called up Brentford’s striker Ivan Toney to the side and could make his Three Lions debut on Friday at the San Siro.

    Even with a win in the final two games, including a clash with Germany next week, England won’t make the UEFA Nations League semifinal as they sit bottom of the table with two points from four games.

    Meanwhile, a spot in the UEFA Nations League finals remains possible for Italy should they win. However, the main aim now for the Euro 2020 champions would be the three points they require from this game to secure their spot in UNL League A for the next edition.

    Unbeaten in five games against England, Italy holds the psychological edge over their visitors and should fancy their chances, especially after Roberto Mancini’s men pipped the Three Lions to the Euro crown a little over a year ago.

    The euphoria of that Euro 2020 win quickly disappeared after a shock World Cup qualification exit against North Macedonia. 

    This made Mancini’s decision to field a heavily rotated side in their 5-2 UEFA Nations League drubbing at the hands of Germany last time out all the more surprising and raises questions about how seriously they will take this game, even though they still have a chance to better their third place UNL finish of 2020/21.

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