Harry Maguire set to start for England vs Italy in Nations League clash


Harry Maguire is set to be given a much-needed vote of confidence by Gareth Southgate as the Manchester United captain is expected to start against Italy in England’s penultimate match before the World Cup.

Maguire, 29, has lost his place at the heart of United’s defence in recent weeks after being part of the sides which shipped six goals against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.

However, Maguire has often impressed for England when called upon by Southgate, and he is believed to be relaxed and confident about the situation. Maguire’s experience among England’s defenders at international level is evident in the squad as he is only behind Manchester City’s Kyle Walker in terms of the most minutes played and has kept the most clean sheets out of any centre-back under Southgate.

Southgate has kept faith in the former Leicester City defender and commented on his recent lack of action at club level during a pre-match press conference on Thursday, saying: “Clearly, it’s not an ideal situation.

“You want your best players playing regularly so that they’re physically in a good place and mentally in a good place.”

The England manager, however, reiterated his confidence in the Manchester United captain, adding: “But he is an important player for us.