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Injuries Plague England, Squad Rotation Expected in Friendly vs. Italy

England enters the friendly off the heels of a 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Friday.
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England round off their international break by welcoming Italy to Wembley Stadium on Tuesday evening in what is the Three Lions' last European test before this summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia. 

Gareth Southgate's side secured a deserved 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night, with Manchester United's Jesse Lingard netting his first goal for his country at the senior level. 

Their upcoming contest, however, should provide a sterner test than that of the poor Holland outfit they surpassed ahead of the weekend, as despite the Azzurri also not playing a part in the celebration of football later this year, their disciplined 70-minute showing against Argentina at the Etihad Stadium on Friday surfaced several positives. 

So, ahead of the Wembley showdown between the two European superpowers, let's take a look at all you need to know. 

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England have tasted defeat twice - in Germany and France - since their embarrassing European Championships exit at the hands of Iceland in June 2016. 

However, in that time, the Three Lions have secured victories over Scotland, Slovenia, Slovakia and, of course, the Netherlands, as well as kept consecutive clean sheets in their last five outings; which has included muting the attacking threat of both Brazil and Germany at Wembley. 

Italy, meanwhile, have not secured a victory since October, where their 1-0 win over Albania preluded Gli Azzurri's World Cup play-off defeat at the hands of Sweden the following month. 

Former Under-21 coach and temporary boss Luigi Di Biagio watched on for the first time as his side went down 2-0 to Argentina at the Etihad Stadium on Friday evening, with Sevilla's Ever Banega and West Ham United's Manuel Lanzini securing the win for La Albiceleste in Manchester. 

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Jack Wilshere will play no part in Tuesday's friendly with Italy after returning to Arsenal last week due to a minor knee injury. 

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The 26-year-old missed out on the possibility of securing his first international cap since England's last-16 defeat to Iceland two years ago in Holland on Friday night and will do so again at Wembley.

Southgate was hopeful of seeing the Gunners midfield in action for the first time during his tenure against the Azzurri following a sustained run in the north Londoners side. 

However, the knee issue, which the Three Lions boss described as "not ideal", will force further doubt into the mind of the 47-year-old and his ability to rely on Wilshere's fitness in Russia this summer. 

Joe Gomez, meanwhile, has been sent back to Liverpool after being forced off during Friday night's win over Holland. 

The 20-year-old, who started out on the left side of a back three, was unable to continue after sustaining a blow before a heavy landing and has been ruled out of Tuesday's clash.  

Aside from the injury concerns, the England boss is expected to rotate the starting XI from his side's win in Amsterdam, with the likes of Jack Butland, Jamie Vardy, Dele Alli, Eric Dier and potentially Adam Lallana in line to feature from the outset. 

For the visitors, despite Gianluigi Buffon's decision to reverse his international retirement in hopes of unifying the squad, AC Milan's teenage goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma is expected to record some minutes. 

Elsewhere, Di Biagio's decision to overlook introducing Manchester United's Matteo Darmian from the substitutes' bench in Italy's defeat to Argentine could mean the 28-year-old features at some point at Wembley, alongside Chelsea's Davide Zappacosta; who only managed the final half-hour on Friday. 

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Although England are missing key striker Harry Kane and are expected to rotate heavily for the visit of Italy, Southgate's men should have enough to claim victory on Tuesday evening. 

The Three Lions' record at Wembley since its opening in 2007 - 41-7-10 - will be a contributing factor when a fractured Azzurri head to the capital.

And after keeping five straight clean sheets, with three of those coming at home, as well as this week's visitors failing to score more than one goal in a game since June 2017, it could be a fairly straightforward evening for the hosts. 

Score Prediction: England 2-0 Italy