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Italy will beat England, says Parker

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Jun 2012

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Paul Parker says Italy will end his country’s Euro 2012 run because Roy Hodgson’s side ‘rely on huffing and puffing’.

Parker, who helped England reach the World Cup semi-finals in 1990, does not think Roy Hodgson’s team have what it takes to win their quarter-final against Italy.

“I am going to be perfectly honest and say that the Italians are going to win 1-0,” the ex-Manchester United defender told Goal.com.

“I can’t go out and say England will win (just) because I am English. Sometimes you have to be realistic and look at it and wonder how long England can keep going like this.

“Ukraine out-passed us and had a perfectly good goal disallowed and if they had had a fit (Andriy) Shevchenko starting I think England would have lost.

“Everyone saw the threat they posed when they went forward and the way England got cut open and kept coming up with last-ditch defending, and you can’t keep relying on that.

“Chelsea won the Champions League like that but they had a bit more quality that England have got, because when they got in the final third they could make things happen, whereas England rely on huffing and puffing.

“They hope they can get into wide areas, hoping they can get into areas where they get a foul and they can get the ball in the box to test the goalkeeper.

“But Italy have a top, top goalkeeper who can command his box so that will make the job more difficult for England, who will have to really work hard to get the ball in there.”

While Parker feels England have been far from eye-catching during their Euro 2012 campaign, he believes their manager’s hands are tied.

“Roy Hodgson is having to play a system which suits what he has got, but if he was to have a Spain or Italy or Croatia or a Portugal or Germany he would know that he could play a more expansive type of football,” he said.

“But with England he can’t play that way because his squad is not good enough individually to keep the ball long enough.

“He knows that the players are not technically good enough or even brave enough to keep hold of the ball which is why he is playing the way he is in the hope that the team can nick something.”

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