Crouchy’s Shouts: Harry Kane can decide Italy v England showdown

Crouchy has his say on Southgate's boys' penultimate game before Qatar

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Crouchy’s Shouts for Italy v England

Crouchy’s Shouts combined this week in a Bet Builder come to odds of approximately 8/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD TO YOUR BETSLIP

Friday, 7:45pm – Italy v England
TV: Channel 4, Virgin Media

You have to take the Nations League seriously even if the bigger picture for England is the World Cup.

Every game matters, that’s how I looked at it because you’re getting a chance to impress and get in the eye-line for the big tournaments.

Someone like Ivan Toney, for instance, could come in, do well, and he has a chance at a World Cup place. He probably never thought he’d have that chance a month or two ago.

There’s also a little bit more pressure on these games because results for both of these teams have been poor in the previous break.

I wouldn’t read too much into England’s last few games because there are a lot of changes and trying different things as the main focus is the World Cup, but you do still have to win games when you’re England, that’s just how it is.

You end up stewing on a game like the Hungary one for so long because there isn’t just another game the following week.

I can’t see Gareth Southgate being too experimental now though. It’s the magnitude of the game – this is still Italy even if they’re not going to the World Cup.

You know that even if they’d only scraped through they’d still be among the favourites for the tournament when it kicks off because they know how to get it done at big events.

And the loss against Hungary was pretty embarrassing too. I’d expect him to pick something like his strongest side on Friday.

It really looks like it’ll be another one of those cagey international games that we’re all not so very fond of.

One goal either way will probably settle it. I don’t see a goal fest, unfortunately.

I’d fancy England to get it if there is one, but could see it playing out as a draw if not.

And Harry Kane’s the main man for England, of course.

If there is a goal or two, you know he’ll have something to do with it.

There is something at stake in this game too. Italy were heavily beaten in their last game by Germany, and England were humbled in Hungary too, so that gives it more importance.

If we lose another one, to a team that hasn’t even qualified for the World Cup, that will build pressure and no one wants that going into a big tournament.

With the amount of pace England have up-front you can see the likes of Leonardo Bonucci maybe having to make a timely tug on one or two shirts too, so I could see a few cards in this.

Crouchy’s Shouts for Italy v England

Crouchy’s Shouts combined this week in a Bet Builder come to odds of approximately 8/1 with Paddy Power. CLICK HERE TO ADD TO YOUR BETSLIP

All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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