Thursday, August 17, 2017

Di Canio calls for Di Natale start

Paolo Di Canio believes John Terry will be vulnerable in the closing stages of Sunday’s Euro 2012 quarter-final between Italy and England.

The Swindon manager suspects Roy Hodgson’s men will pay the price for another punishing English Premier League campaign and is hoping Italy boss Cesare Prandelli selects Antonio Di Natale ahead of Mario Balotelli because the Udinese man is more likely to sap their opponents’ energy.

“England cannot endure a high pace to the game after a gruelling season and this can be an advantage (for Italy),” Di Canio told Tuttosport.

“Terry will especially struggle if we cut up the midfield with good movement. So, I would rather see Di Natale (up front).

“England will have heart, passion and desire. But we have more imagination, with (Antonio) Cassano and (Andrea) Pirlo.”

Di Canio, though, freely admits England are not without their own attacking threat and he is particularly concerned about just how Leonardo Bonucci will cope with Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney.

“The individual one-on-ones will be difficult for Bonucci,” he said. “Welbeck and Rooney are deadly in the final third. They know each other and they combine well.

“(Steven) Gerrard is the usual driving force. He does not have any great pace any more but can still make the difference, as he did against Sweden. It will be a good battle of brains between him and Pirlo.”

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