England (4-2-3-1): Hart, Johnson, Jagielka, Cahill, Baines, Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana, Welbeck, Rooney, Sturridge
England is expected to roll out a reliable 4-2-3-1, with a defensive double pivot consisting of Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson. The three behind striker Daniel Sturridge will also not play an extremely attacking role, as they will look to stifle the creativity of Andrea Pirlo. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the clash with a knee problem.
Italy (4-3-2-1): Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio, Marchisio, Pirlo, De Rossi, Candreva, Cerci, Balotelli
Although England’s line-up seems fairly straight forward, Italy could come up with several surprises when they enter the field on Saturday. The back five is quite certain, but coach Cesar Prandelli can go with several options in the middle and up front. Pirlo and De Rossi are expected starters, while if Prandelli insists on going with two wide men, then we will see Alesio Cerci and Antonio Candreva flank either Mario Balotelli or Ciro Immobile.
My England 11- hart, Johnson, Cahill, jagielka, shaw, lallana, gerrard, Barkley, sterling, sturridge, lambert, that squad will beat Italy
— James Dancey (@jdsaints11) June 12, 2014
Didn’t England go unbeaten during qualifying and only conceded 4 goals !!! Italy you best watch out this ones guna get messy
— jake le-carpenter (@jakelecarpenter) June 12, 2014
Genuinely can’t see England getting out their group. Uruguay will top it with Italy second
— Aidan Mclaughlin (@amclaughlin94) June 12, 2014
Breaking news – injury blow 4 England …. Wellbeck FIT for game against Italy
— Peter Jenkinson (@xxp123) June 12, 2014
Fans of both teams will remember this beautiful penalty by Andrea Pirlo. You just have to admire it.
England have only won two of their last 11 internationals against Italy (D3 L6), losing to them on penalties in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
The one previous World Cup meeting between these two former winners came in the third place play-off in 1990; Italy won 2-1.
England have only lost two of their last 16 World Cup games (W7 D7, including two penalty shoot-out defeats).
Excluding shootouts, England have scored all eight World Cup penalties.
Frank Lampard has had more shots without scoring than any other player at World Cups since 1966 (39 shots, no goals).
Wayne Rooney has not scored a goal in 594 minutes of World Cup football for the Three Lions.
England talisman Rooney has scored in all six competitive games since Euro 2012, however (seven goals).
Italy have scored in each of their last 14 games at the World Cup, the longest current run. The last time they failed to score was on 3 July 1998 against France.
Seven of Italy's last 17 goals at the World Cup have been scored from corners (41%).
Italy have conceded 14 goals from outside the box at the World Cup, more than any other team since 1966.