In a replay of the Euro 2020 final, Italy take on England in arguably the biggest tie of this round of Nations League fixtures. With Hungary leading the group, and Italy and England bottom, Group A3 has not been short on thrills and surprises. Given their attacking talent, the main surprise is a winless England who have scored just one goal in four games, while Italy have only beaten the Hungarians.
Given the topsy-turvy nature of this group, it’s a tough game to predict and therefore I have provided my 4 top tips for a card instead of a normal bet builder. All the stats point to cards in this game with 4.3 cards per England game last year and 4.2 per Italian game while the ref, Jesus Gil Manzano averages 5.33 cards per game.
Here are my 3 favourites bets for a card to add into your bet builder:
Italy v England Predicted Line-ups
Italy’s possible starting lineup (4-3-3): Donnarumma, Di Lorenzo, Bastoni, Bonucci, Emerson, Jorginho, Barella, Tonali, Grifo, Scamacca, Gnoto
England’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale, James, Maguire, Tomori, Trippier, Rice, Bellingham,Mount, Foden, Sterling, Kane
The fist card tip of this game features the Italian playing in the Premier League, Jorginho. Another card happy player with 65 in his career, Jorginho has struggled to see as many minutes as he would have hoped for at Chelsea this season, often not seeing out 90 or coming off the bench. With Verratti out injured, it can be expected that Jorginho will anchor Mancini’s midfield like he did in the Finalissima.
Although Jorginho’s card numbers have been lower, he has not been playing in this holding midfield role behind two playmakers. In the 2019/20 season, when Jorginho played in a 4-3-3 behind the likes of Kovacic and Mount, he was carded 14 times with 56 fouls at over 1 per game. England are expected to play a 4-2-3-1 with Mount at CAM who will know to man mark his teammate and afford him no time, disrupting Jorginho from his game.
I really like the value of this bet and think the bookies have overpriced this card due to his recent record. However, I really like Chelsea’s experienced midfielder who struggles to keep up with the pace of England’s midfield and pick up a card. Alternatively, England have striker options on the bench like Ivan Toney who could physically torment Jorginho later in the game, especially if either side is chasing the game.
West Ham’s midfield star man is my English tip for a yellow card on Friday night. Since his England debut in 2019, Rice has performed excellently, locking himself in as a key starter in the midfield under Gareth Southgate. A tenacious, ball-carrying midfielder, Rice is no stranger to a challenge when required, leading England’s tally in the Nations League with 7 tackles. Interestingly, the only player with similar numbers is Jude Bellingham, suggesting England’s holding midfielders are the workhorses expected to put in the challenges in Southgate’s low block.
England’s midfielders are both candidates for a card based on Southgate’s system, but Rice gets the nod over Bellingham, committing 1.74 fouls per 90 in the last edition of the Nations League and leading England with 5 this year. This Italian side average 12.4 fouls against per game this year and operating with a technically gifted midfield 3 should overrun England giving us a favourable match up for a card. The likes of Barella, Jorginho and Tonali are all experts on the ball, drawing 1.69, 2.68 and 1.13 fouls per game respectively across this season. One of Rice’s last international cards was against Leon Goretzka, who draws 0.56 fouls per game, so there should be plenty more opportunities today.
Rice is my favourite tip for a card today. His last 3 international cards have been against his opposite numbers in midfield and given his opponents today, I wouldn’t bet against a 4th. Jesus Gil Manzano isn’t shy with his cards at all, carding 5 England players the last time he took charge of one of their games, including two red cards. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rice in the book today and would add him to your bet builders.
The next England player I like for a card is England’s starting left-back and Newcastle star right-back, Kieran Trippier at slightly longer odds of 5/1. Playing out of position, Trippier has clearly won over Southgate and the selectors with 4 appearances at left back, including games against Italy and Germany where England picked up their only points of the Nations League so far.
It amazes me that a Trippier card is so highly valued, as he has already been booked twice this season. Booked against Liverpool for hacking down Diaz and initially sent off against City for a foul on De Bruyne, Trippier’s two cards have come against sides who have immense quality in possession, like Italy.
With 3 fouls in both fixtures against Barcelona when he was in La Liga and 3 against Italy in the reverse fixtures, it’s clear that Trippier’s foul tally rises significantly against higher quality opponents. In fact, the full back was lucky to escape without a card against the Italians last time for fouls on Pessina and Gnonto, who is expected to start today. Given Trippier struggled to handle him last time and struggles with the bigger matches, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him carded in a matchup against a winger who has drawn double the amount of fouls as anyone else on the pitch, with 10 in 4 games.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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How to watch Italy v England in the Nations League?
📅 When is Italy v England? / Friday, 23rd September 2022, 7:45PM
🏟 Where is Italy v England? / San Siro (Milan)
📺 What TV channel is Italy v England on? / Channel 4
🟨 …And who is the referee for Italy v England? / J. Manzano 🇪🇸