England cannot reach the Nations League finals so their priority in their upcoming matches will be to preserve their League A status and, more importantly, prepare for the World Cup in Qatar.
Gareth Southgate's men play Italy on Friday 23 September at San Siro in Milan with Germany coming to Wembley on Monday 26.
On paper, those are two mouthwatering fixtures, but after England's dismal performances in their four Nations League matches in June, fans will demand significant improvement.
Three Lions must do better
England took two points and scored a single goal across a hectic programme of Nations League games.
They drew with Italy and Germany and lost twice to Hungary, with Marco Rossi's men trouncing the Three Lions 4-0 at Molineux on perhaps the most miserable night of Southgate's tenure.
Can we put those performances down to fatigue at the end of a long season?
Southgate must hope so but, either way, England rounded off that run of matches with a glaring "must do better" on their report card.
They cannot qualify for the Nations League finals but Germany, Hungary and Italy all can.
At the moment, it's Hungary (seven points from four matches) who top the group and have the best chance of going through.
England will be relegated from League A if they lose to Italy. The Three Lions won't want to suffer that ignominy and, with places in the World Cup squad up for grabs, the players have plenty of motivation to perform.
Southgate's men are 9/5 to win the match, while the hosts, who failed to qualify for Qatar, are 6/4 and the draw 9/4.
We'll have a full match preview with the best bets.
Next stop Qatar...
The upcoming matches are England's last before the World Cup and preparations for Qatar are Southgate's real priority over the next couple of weeks.
After this round of Nations League football, the next time England play will be when they begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on Monday 21 November.
On the Exchange England 8.2 are third favourites behind Brazil 6.0 and holders France 7.4 to go all the way.
Harry Kane and co. will need to show a lot more than they did in June to justify those odds.
But let's keep things in perspective. Under Southgate, England have become a tournament team. They reached the semi-finals of the last World Cup in 2018 and reached the final of Euro 2020 where they lost to Italy.
When France won the World Cup four years ago they did so after losing the Euro 2016 in their own stadium. England fans hope their team can use the same disappointment to spur them on this November and December.
Places in the squad are up for grabs and there is every reason to believe we will see a better England against Italy and Germany before thoughts turn to the main event - a World Cup like no other.