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Prandelli urges Italy to maintain focus

SoccerNews in European Championships 23 Jun 2012

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has warned his team that they must approach their Euro 2012 quarter-final with England with no fear.

Speaking ahead of the fixture between the two teams on Sunday, Prandelli insisted that his men should maintain their focus and wait for their opportunity to strike.

“It’s going to be tough game and we must go into the game without any fear. Over the course of the 90 minutes we’ve got to retain our focus, so we can wait for our opportunity,” he said.

“The side we’re going to take on has a lot of good footballers. They are very organised, they don’t just play all over the place.

“We’ve prepared by looking at England. What we’ve noticed is that they’re one of the most organised sides in Europe. They focus on a small, 40-metre space.

“They’re going to play at a high tempo and put their foot in but we need to take the initiative. For the first time in my two years in charge I’ve left everybody not knowing who is going to start.”

Prandelli then spoke about the fitness of Thiago Motta, who had reportedly picked up a muscle injury, but refused to comment reveal any of his selection decisions.

“Thiago Motta has a muscle problem, but he has trained and is available for tomorrow’s game, so there’s no question about his availability – we just have to decide whether or not we need him, tactically,” he said.

“For the first time in my two years in charge I’ve left everybody not knowing who is going to start.

“It’s an advantage that (Mario) Balotelli knows English football so well. He’ll only know if he is playing one hour before kick-off.”

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