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European Championship 2024 Qualifier: England vs Italy Preview

England head into their latest 2024 European Championship qualifier against Italy on Tuesday aiming to book their place in next summer’s tournament in Germany.

The Three Lions are top of Group C with three games to play and a victory over the reigning champions at Wembley Stadium would be enough to seal top spot.

Italy are currently six points behind England but can close the gap to three if they defeat group-whipping boys Malta on Saturday evening.

Several online bookmakers are offering odds of 8/11 on England to win the game, although most sportsbooks have listed them around the 8/13 mark.

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Punters considering wagering on England would be well advised to study their recent record against Italy, which shows that four of their last six meetings have ended in stalemate after 90 minutes.

On that basis, odds of 13/5 for the game to finish as a draw looks an enticing proposition given the teams are extremely closely matched.

England triumphed 2-1 over Italy in the reverse fixture, but that was their first success since a friendly victory by the same scoreline in August 2012.

Italy bounced back from their defeat against England to win 2-0 in Malta before being held 1-1 by North Macedonia in their third group game.

However, a 2-1 home victory over Ukraine in their most recent outing moved them up to second in the group and boosted their chances of qualifying for Euro 2024.

They will be desperate to qualify for the tournament, having missed out on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. They will be dangerous opponents for England.

Italy have a new manager following Roberto Mancini’s decision to accept a multi-million-pound offer to coach the Saudi Arabia national team.

Luciano Spalletti, who led Napoli to the Serie A title last May, will oversee his fourth competitive game in charge and will be eager to make an impression.

Italy were disappointing in Spalletti’s first game in charge against North Macedonia but stepped things up in their victory over Ukraine.

Davide Frattesi hit a classy first-half double in that game, and England’s defence will need to keep close tabs on him at Wembley.

Spalletti’s decision to hand the captain’s armband to Gianluigi Donnarumma was also vindicated as the goalkeeper produced a solid display.

With four of the last six games between the two sides finishing 0-0 or 1-1, backing another stalemate could be a sensible move for sports bettors.

England still have to face Malta (H) and North Macedonia (A) and are unlikely to take too many chances given manager Gareth Southgate’s overly cautious nature.

With a 0-0 draw a best-priced 39/5 and 1-1 available to be backed at 6/1, covering both outcomes could deliver a healthy return for savvy punters.

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