Head to head: As historic as the two teams are in nature, England and Italy have surprisingly little history between them. They have played six times competitively, with the Italians winning four times to England’s once.
Yellow cards: Ashley Young, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Ashley Cole and Steven Gerrard are one caution away from suspension for England. Christian Maggio, Leonardo Bonucci, Thiago Motta, Riccardo Montolivo, Gianluigi Buffon, Fredrico Balzaretti, Daniele De Rossi, and, no surprise, Mario Balotelli face the same predicament for Italy.
A thigh injury to defensive anchor Giorgio Chiellini means Italy will be vulnerable defensively. The possible absence of Thiago Motta, who is doubtful after straining a hamstring, would disrupt Italy’s attacking flow. Bonucci and Riccardo Montolivo are expected to fill in.
Roy Hodgson and England will name a standard 4-4-2 / 4-4-1-1 formation, and although there’s a chance that a more direct winger could start on the flanks, it’s probable that he’ll stick with the starting XI that overcame Ukraine in the final group game.
Cesare Prandelli’s formation for Italy is much less clear. Having used a 3-5-2 for Italy’s opening two games against Spain and Croatia, he switched to a 4-4-2 diamond for the win over Ireland.
Gli Azzurri , Forza Italia