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Graziano Pellè to start for Italy against England

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The out-of-form Southampton striker has been handed a starting berth by Italy boss Antonio Conte

Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Southampton striker Graziano Pellè has been given the chance to feature in Italy's starting XI versus England tonight.

Italian coach Antonio Conte has made wholesale changes from his Italy side who earned a 2-2 Euro 2016 Qualifier draw against Bulgaria at the weekend.

This will be Pellè's first Italy start since he grabbed a debut goal in Italy's 1-0 win over minnows Malta. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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With Saints defenders Ryan Bertrand and Nathaniel Clyne called up the England squad, there is a good chance Pellè could face off against his two teammates at some stage.

While most Southampton fans have rallied behind the out-of-form Pellè, the big Italian centre forward will be eager to prove his detractors wrong. The ex-Feyenoord goalscorer has not found the net in the Premier League since December.

Conte announced his squad early and Pellè looks set to start alongside Sampdoria striker Eder in tonight's friendly.

While I want England to beat the Italians, there is definitely a part of me which wants Pellè to score to try and reinvigorate his waning Premier League form for the Saints ahead of Saturday's clash with Everton.