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England set for Italy test at the U20 World Cup

England U20 go head-to-head with Italy U20 this evening with a place in the quarter-finals of the U20 World Cup on the line.

The Young Lions are unbeaten at the tournament in Argentina, having topped Group E with seven points from three matches.

Manager Ian Foster rested some key players in their final group game against Iraq after securing a place in the knockout stages.

England kicked off the tournament with a 1-0 victory over Tunisia before edging a five-goal thriller against Uruguay in their second outing.

They missed a penalty in a goalless draw against Iraq and will need to play much better to see off Italy’s challenge.

Foster’s side head into the game on the back of a ten-match unbeaten run but will not find things easy against the talented Italians.

Cesare Casadei has been in fine form during the tournament, netting four goals in three games to help Italy finish runners-up in Group D.

They beat group-winners Brazil 3-2 during the opening phase, highlighting the threat they pose to England’s hopes of success.

In the run-up to the tournament, Foster backed his team to succeed in South America.

“We’re on a good run – we’re confident as a group, and that will certainly help us,” he said (via FIFA’s official website).

“We believe we can win it, but we’re mindful there are other wonderful teams who will want that title as well.”

The winner will play either Colombia or Slovakia. With the USA team in the other half of the bracket, any rekindling of the England v USA rivalry would have to wait till the final, a highly unlikely outcome given Argentina’s presence in the tournament.

England U20 vs Italy U20 Possible Starting Line-ups

England U20: Cox, Quansah, Edwards, Humphreys, Oyegoke, Gyabi, Scott, Vale, Devine, Joseph, Scarlett.

Italy U20: Desplanches, Zanotti, Guarino, Fontanarosa, Giovane, Prati, Faticanti, Casadei, Baldanzi, Pafundi, Ambrosino.

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