Gareth Southgate notes it is a ‘great honour’ for England to play Italy at San Siro and doesn’t believe the Azzurri are weaker than at EURO 2020.
It kicks off at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on Friday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).
The Nations League group is very balanced going into the final two rounds, as Hungary are the surprise leaders on seven points, followed by Germany on six, Italy five and England only two.
Tomorrow’s clash is particularly important, because whoever finishes bottom will be relegated to Nations League B.
“This is a very important tournament and we have already faced two very strong teams. We must improve after recent results and building up to the World Cup,” said Southgate in his press conference.
“Getting to do that here at San Siro, in an iconic stadium, will be a great honour.”
Italy beat England in the EURO 2020 Final at Wembley Stadium on penalties, then drew 0-0 earlier in this group, just before the Three Lions fell to a shock 4-0 home defeat to Hungary.
“We already played against Italy, we know how formidable the players in the Italian national team are. It’s up to us to respond to the results of the last two meetings and improve.”
The Azzurri have failed to qualify for the World Cup since the Euros triumph, seen several veterans leave and others pull out with injury. Southgate was asked if he believes Italy are weaker than before?
“No, I wouldn’t say that. We follow Serie A closely, I was in Italy two weeks ago to watch the derby and then Udinese. We know the Serie A players.”