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FIFA World Cup: Prandelli wary of England's attacking threat

IANS 14 Jun 2014, 23:32:55 PM IST
Manaus (Brazil):  Italian coach Cesare Prandelli says his team are prepared for a more enterprising England team than the one they defeated on penalties at Euro 2012.

Italy and England will meet for the first time in a competitive fixture since that duel when they clash in their 2014 FIFA World Cup Group D clash at Manaus' Amazonia Arena Saturday, reports Xinhua.

"I don't want to talk too much about the opposition because that's not my style but they have personality and physical strength," Prandelli said.

"They are a fast team and now they have players with technical skills and creativity, especially in attack where they are able to use space. We have to be careful to mark them. The key will be to control the midfield."

When asked about his own team's concerns, Prandelli underlined the importance of adhering to the game plan and not losing focus late in the match.

"I hope to see a team that is able to think for the entire 90 minutes," the 56-year-old manager said.

"We have seen many times in football's history that little things can change the course of a match. That's why we have to keep our nerve and not lose focus."

Italy have endured seven straight defeats since their 2-1 victory over the Czech Republic last September -- a result that earned them World Cup qualification.

Their only warm-up match since arriving in Brazil was a 5-3 victory over Brazilian club Fluminense.

Despite the team's unconvincing form, Prandelli is adamant Italy are capable of winning football's most coveted trophy for a fifth time.

"We have prepared in order to win it because we can," Prandelli said. "We think we are up to the task. We know we have to fight, but we have no fears."