England and Italy go into the half-time interval locked all square in a 0-0 affair in Milan as the Three Lions contend with the possibility of relegation into Nations League B as the runner-up at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020 semi-finalist are winless in their group.
A pair of losses against Hungary - who have a 1-0 lead against Germany in Leipzig at the time of writing - is paired with two draws against their aforementioned bitter international rival as well as tonight’s opponent while managing just one goal in four group fixtures.
When Southgate’s line-up was revealed as tonight’s team sheet was made public, the possibility of a 4-2-3-1 could have been on the cards but as many expected, England remained in a back-five deployment with Bukayo Saka taking up the left-wing-back role as Southgate continued to use Harry Maguire as the defensive cornerstone with Eric Dier and Kyle Walker on either side of the Manchester United captain.
As expected, England struggled on the night thus far to truly threaten an Italy outfit under Roberto Mancini despite Southgate’s men having the balance of possession and crafting one more chance than their opponents while also sporting a better passing rate.
But the data has meant little in a fixture that England needs to win rather than banking on another shock result for Hungary. How has the first forty-five been received by the fans? See below for more.