Preview: England vs. Italy

Preview: England vs. Italy
© PA Photos
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's friendly clash between England and Italy in Switzerland.

England host Italy in Switzerland on Wednesday in a re-run of the Euro 2012 quarter-final clash at the end of June.

It was a familiar story for England after losing 4-2 on penalties to the Azzuri – who defeated Germany in the semi-finals before losing 4-0 to Spain in the final.

The friendly match will act as a warm-up tie for both sides ahead of World Cup qualifiers in September – with Roy Hodgson's side facing Moldova and Ukraine.

In terms of the head-to-head record between the two sides, Italy have won nine out of 23 matches with England, while the Three Lions have won seven and the remaining seven have ended in a draw.

Hodgson has called up a number of youngsters for the clash, with Jack Butland, Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore and Ryan Bertrand all part of the squad. Meanwhile, Tom Cleverley could also make his first start for his country.

However, Daniel Sturridge has pulled out of the squad with a toe complaint, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has also been forced to sit the match out through injury.

Meanwhile, Italy will be without Mario Balotelli - who is suffering with conjunctivitis - while they could hand first caps to as many as eight players.

Possible lineups:

England: Butland; Walker, Jagielka, Cahill, Bertrand; Walcott, Carrick, Lampard, Cleverley, Young; Carroll

Italy: Sirigu; Abate, Astori, Ogbonna, Balzaretti; Nocerino, De Rossi, Veratti, Diamanti; Destro, El Shaarawy

Sports Mole says: 2-2

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