England return to action for the first time since the 2022 World Cup, in which they lost to eventual finalists France. On Thursday, March 23, the Three Lions visit Italy at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in the first round of the 2024 Euro qualifiers.
It will be a rematch of the last European Championship final, in which the Azzurra upset the English team at Wembley on penalties. That, in addition to the fact that these are two soccer powerhouses, makes it a must-watch for the soccer community.
It also means the beginning of a crucial process for both nation's future, with Italy hoping to get back into a World Cup and England aiming to improve. Southgate, however, will miss Marcus Rashford for this clash.
Why is Marcus Rashford not playing for England vs. Italy
Marcus Rashford is not playing for England against Italy because he pulled out of the squad due to injury. The Manchester United striker suffered a knock during his team's FA Cup win over Fulham and will rest during the international break.
It's certainly a huge blow for England, since he's one of the most in-form strikers in the world right now. Since returning from Qatar, Rashford has recorded an impressive 19 goals. However, Southgate's team will have to manage to beat Italy without him.