England predicted lineup vs Italy - Euro 2024 qualifier

England have some decisions to make
England have some decisions to make / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

England's journey to Euro 2024 kicks off on Thursday when they travel to Naples to face reigning champions Italy in a repeat of the 2021 final.

Gareth Southgate is under pressure to get England back to their best after a disastrous Nations League campaign and an underwhelming World Cup showing, and to make his job even harder, a few key players have been forced to pull out through injury.

Here's the lineup Southgate could go for.

England predicted lineup vs Italy (3-4-3)

John Stones
John Stones is likely to play in central defence / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

GK: Jordan Pickford - Calls for Nick Pope to take this spot have died down in recent weeks but the Newcastle stopper is injured anyway so Pickford keeps his spot regardless.

CB: Kyle Walker - Southgate defended his right to call Walker up to the squad and, with the Manchester City defender not expected to face any police action over allegations of indecent exposure, a start seems likely.

CB: John Stones - City teammate Stones is only recently back from injury and will be looking to rediscover his impressive form as soon as possible.

CB: Harry Maguire - Maguire remains a favourite of Southgate despite his limited role at club level.

RM: Reece James - Losing James for the World Cup was a major blow for England, but the Chelsea man is back and raring to go now.

CM: Declan Rice - The first half of England's in-demand midfield, Rice will be keen for a break from club football after a tricky season with West Ham.

CM: Jude Bellingham - Bellingham is used to the spotlight but more eyes than ever will be on the teenager as the transfer rumours begin ramping up.

LM: Luke Shaw - Ben Chilwell is excellent competition for Shaw, whose sensational season for Manchester United makes him worthy of retaining his starting spot.

RW: Bukayo Saka - Saka has gone from strength to strength since missing the decisive penalty in the Euro 2020 final. He's one of the most dangerous players around right now.

ST: Harry Kane - Kane needs just one goal to cement his legacy as England's all-time leading goalscorer. He's currently tied with Wayne Rooney on 53.

LW: Jack Grealish - Grealish has been excellent for City this season and deserves the chance to take that form over to the international stage.