Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has warned his men not to underestimate Armenia in their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday.
Italy were held to a 2-2 draw by Bulgaria in their last qualification game, and Prandelli has stressed they cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.
“I am waiting to see an Italy side alive to the fact that the stakes are high. We have to play at a high rhythm against Armenia in order to make the most of our qualities,” Prandelli said.
“I’m sure we won’t make the same mistakes as we did in September, but against Armenia we have to have commitment, because it will be a hard, physical encounter.
“We must respect the opposition, and play with the intensity the game deserves. Armenia are a developing football nation and shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Italy are joint top of the Group B in UEFA qualifying, level with Bulgaria on four points, one point ahead of second-placed Armenia.