Gareth Southgate had the chance to experiment on Friday as England’s World Cup preparation got off to a winning start against an underwhelming Dutch side. England won, but in truth, it was a boring and one-sided contest in the Netherlands. The 1-0 win came thanks to a Jese Lingard strike, but Italy who are also recovering from their failure to make it to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup should provide a tougher test.
Lingard was impressive while Dele Alli’s had a rather poor cameo and that could see the Manchester United man start ahead of him in Russia if he maintains this form, and this game against Italy offers them both another chance to stake their claim.
England are unbeaten in their last 7 games, but they have drawn against their biggest opponents at home including the likes of Brazil and Germany, while finding in relatively easy to beat lesser opponents like Lithuania, Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia and the very poor Netherlands.
Italy would be tougher opponents on Tuesday, even though the Azurri did fail to qualify for the World cup and lost their last friendly game in Manchester against Argentina with Messi remaining on the bench.