Sunday, August 20, 2017

Di Canio: England can trouble Italy

Paolo Di Canio says Roy Hodgson’s England side remind him of an Italian side of the 1980s.

Di Canio, who is the coach of English club Swindon Town, believes the meeting between England and his country of birth will be a very close one.

Furthermore, the former Under-21 international praised the job Hodgson has done during his short time in charge of the national outfit, and believes England will be a threat when they come up against Italy.

“Hodgson is an old fox and they look like an Italian team from the ’80s,” Di Canio told BBC Sport.

“It is obvious that England play in a manner that can put Italy in trouble. England have done a good job so far, although they have had a bit of luck, like Italy.

“Italy are similar although they are a bit more solid. They are a tactical side but perhaps a bit more fantasy in terms of the individual players such as (Andrea) Pirlo, (Antonio) Cassano and (Mario) Balotelli. England can be effective too, though, and I think it should be a good show.”

And although the former West Ham striker believes the clash between the two European teams will be an entertaining one, he also says the long domestic season will have an adverse affect on the way the game unfolds.

“Although anything is possible, I don’t see a game where one team will win 2-0 or 3-0 and go through easily,” Di Canio said.

“It’s hot and it has been a long season for the players. There are some high-tempo moments but, after a long season, it’s hard to run, press together and counter-attack in numbers for 95 minutes at the top level.”

He also said there was only a certain amount a coach could do, and that it is up to the players to show their worth on the pitch.

“Euro 2012 is a very short tournament and the players know they will need to give everything. It’s up to the players to give their best,” Di Canio said.

“These tournaments come along once every four years, and perhaps this will be the last tournament for some players. It could be a game they remember for the rest of their lives.”

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