The clash between European giants England and Italy should guarantee us an exciting affair, despite the fact that both managers will use the game to test some new players.
New England boss Roy Hodgson did well to keep team’s showings at the Euro 2012 respectable and their progress to the quarter-finals can be seen as a positive result.
With the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers coming real soon, the game against Italy will be team’s final warm-up game, but that didn’t stop Hodgson from calling several players who weren’t in Poland and Ukraine.
The injury to first choice keeper Joe Hart means that youngster Jack Butland could start after impressing at the 2012 Olympics, while Michael Carrick finally returns to international fold.
Tom Cleverly and Andy Carroll are also expected to start, but Scott Parker, Gareth Barry, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Daniel Sturridge and Micah Richards miss out through injury.
In spite of all their problems, the new-look England are 2.50 (3/2) with Betfair to beat Euro 2012 runners-up Italy.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Butland – Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines – Lampard, Carrick – Walcott, Cleverley, A. Young – Carroll.
Italy were without a doubt the biggest surprise package of the Euro 2012 and not even the 4-0 defeat in the tournament final could change the fact that Cesare Prandelli had built a great side.
The Azzurri not only achieved great results but also managed to display a slick passing game totally uncharacteristic of the past Italy sides and they have every reason to hope for a title chase at the 2014 World Cup.
However, there is a long way to go before the next major competition and the Azzurri have yet to start their qualifying campaign.
Cesare Prandelli proved he was thinking about the future by naming no less than eight uncapped players for the match against England, with Stephan El Shaarawy, Andrea Poli and Mattia Destro some of the notable debutants.
Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Cassano, Mario Balotelli and few more senior players miss out, but Alberto Aquilani returns to international fold after making a switch to Fiorentina.
Even with so many new and unproven players in the side, Italy look a good bet at 3.10 (21/10) offered by BetVictor.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Sirigu – Abate, Gastaldello, Ogbonna, Balzaretti – Aquilani, De Rossi, Nocerino – Diamanti – Destro, El Shaarawy.