Pietro Ghedin insists “anything is possible in football” as minnows Malta look to upset Italy in their Euro 2016 qualifier.
Malta are away to Italy at Stadio Artemio Franchi for Thursday’s Group H clash.
Ghedin’s Malta are bottom of the group with just one point after six matches as the 158th-ranked nation bid to win their first competitive match since June 2013.
Malta and Italy are separated by 142 places in the FIFA rankings but Ghedin is backing the Mediterranean minnows to pull off a shock result against the star-studded Italians in Florence.
“This is a great opportunity, both for me and for my team,” Ghedin told reporters.
“We have never beaten the Azzurri, but I don’t believe in statistics. Anything is possible in football, as the sport has become global and it’s only right.
“Italy are a great team with excellent qualities, so we must be focused and will defend our honour.
“The Nazionale are always unpredictable and you can never relax against an Antonio Conte team. We are in good shape, trained well and are ready to see what happens.
“We are bottom of the group, but we aren’t beaten before even starting. We know the Italian ambitions, but we have ours too and they are to be respected.
“We don’t have stars, the squad is our best quality. If we are united, we can do something. Unity is our strength.”