England v Italy preview: Jack Butland to start at Wembley

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England's 24 remaining players trained on the eve of the World Cup warm-up friendly against Italy.

And Southgate is set to ignore Arsenal's injury-jinxed Jack Wilshere, Chelsea's Gary Cahill and Manchester United centre-half Chris Smalling, as he looks towards naming his 23-man squad.

ENGLAND stars were put through their paces today ahead of their clash with Italy tomorrow night - and some freaky training methods were on show.

However, Southgate did not rule Hart out of starting against Tunisia in England's first match in Russian Federation on June 18.

It is working. England have kept five clean sheets in a row, including against Germany and Brazil, and if they do not concede against Italy in their Wembley friendly tomorrow it will be the first time they have kept six consecutively since 1970. "At the beginning of the week we decided that's what we were going to do, give them both a game for the experience".

Jack Butland is thriving on the "intense" competition between England's goalkeepers and insists there will be no bad blood when Gareth Southgate finally names his World Cup No. 1.

"The balance of the squad we have got to get right".

AFP Contributor  GettyImages
AFP Contributor GettyImages

The Liverpool FC captain has been earning plenty of praise for his solid displays in the middle of the park for Jurgen Klopp's men as he has established himself as a regular in the team at Anfield. "We were more fluid with the ball, we played with more freedom. there were really good signs of that on Friday", he said. He is likely to go with a 4-3-3 formation, but whether he'll go with his strongest side available - which would include the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Marco Verratti, and Ciro Immobile - or give some of the younger players he called up to the squad a chance, we'll have to wait and see. Joe's professionalism has been brilliant with us, he's always performed well for us. We had the best defensive record in Europe in qualifying. "Even though he knew he wouldn't be playing in the games this week he has been a fantastic influence to the rest of the players and the other keepers".

"There is this big focus now in England on Harry Kane but I think there's a ideal captain in that team", Sam Walker, a sportswriter whose book "The Captain Class" has been noted as an influence by Southgate, told the Telegraph.

He was also overlooked for the final of the Carabao Cup, watching from the sidelines as City defeated Arsenal 3-0, and may face a light workload between now and the World Cup.

"I've no reason to believe that he won't be back for their next game", Southgate told a news conference to preview the Italy game. The coach organises his teams well, good detail.

Southgate is prepared for his defenders to risk making individual mistakes in order to get them contributing to play more, and the England fans must be of the same mindset.

He may have split fans at the start of the campaign but there's nothing more that supporters love to see than one of their own performing well consistently for the first team. "There's some super-exciting young players".

"So for me it was kind of one where players have moved up, but maybe I wasn't ready yet or maybe (Southgate) didn't think it was my time".

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