England remain “one of the best teams in the world”, says Italy boss Roberto Mancini as he prepares for their Nations League meeting at the San Siro


Italy beat Gareth Southgate’s England in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley last summer – but have since failed to qualify for this winter’s World Cup.

England qualified for Qatar but have yet to win in four Nations League games and could be relegated.

“The English team is a great team,” Mancini said.

“It was a great team in Euro 2020 and it was a great team before.”

England will drop down to Division B, the second tier, if they lose in Milan – or at home to Germany on Monday.

“I think England is one of the best teams in the world. It’s full of talent, especially the forwards,” said former Manchester City boss Mancini, whose side are three points above England.

“They have many players apart from Harry Kane, who is an extraordinary player, but the young players around him can make a difference. So it will be a very hard match for us.”

England’s only absentee will be Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, who is recovering from a hamstring injury but will be available for the Germany game.

He replaced the injured Kalvin Phillips in the squad earlier this week.

England boss Southgate said: “We know the [Italy] players because we are watching Serie A all the time.

“I was here two weeks ago for the Milan derby and then to Udinese. Roberto tried a lot of players in the summer and he is building for a Euros in two years time so I understand that.

“When we went into the summer we were on a run of 22 games without losing. Maybe you don’t analyse the victories as much as the defeats, which isn’t the right thing. I may have compromised some of the decisions internally – if anything it has sharpened that up.”


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