FIVE talking points ahead of Italy v England tonight:
1) WILL HARRY KANE START?
Yes. Kane’s confidence is sky high after scoring just 79 seconds into his England debut in Friday’s 4-0 Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania, so Roy Hodgson has confirmed the Tottenham star will make his full debut.
2) HOW WILL HE FIT INTO THE TEAM THEN?
Hodgson is expected to change his formation from 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 diamond, with Kane and Wayne Rooney up front. The former worked well for England against Lithuania as Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck stretched the away defence and Rooney profited, but, with both wide-men injured, Kane and Rooney will lead the line together.
3) WILL THERE BE ANY MORE CHANGES TO THE STARTING LINE-UP?
Hodgson is unlikely to reveal his XI, but, after the withdrawals of Sterling, Welbeck, James Milner and Leighton Baines, there are certain to be changes. Hodgson made a point of praising Ross Barkley after his 19-minute substitute appearance on Friday so he could start at the tip of the diamond. Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have impressed Hodgson with their performances for Manchester United and could make just their second start together as a centre-back pairing for England. Kyle Walker should make his first England start in 16 months and Kieran Gibbs is expected to start too. Joe Hart is almost certain to earn his 50th cap in goal.
4) ARE ITALY ANY GOOD?
The Azzurri team will look very different to the one that beat England 2-1 at the World Cup. Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio are injured and Mario Balotelli has been dropped from the squad altogether following his poor form for Liverpool. The Italians are unbeaten in qualifying, but they have dropped four points, the latest two coming on Saturday when they drew 2-2 in Bulgaria.
5) WHAT ABOUT THEIR MANAGER?
You would have thought Antonio Conte would be a big fans’ favourite here in Turin after playing over 400 games for the club and leading them to the Scudetto three times as manager, but, sadly for him, that is not the case. The 45-year-old has received death threats from angry Juve fans, who blame his training methods for causing Marchisio to suffer knee ligament damage.