World Cup 2014: Italy warn England of 'extraordinary' aim

Andrea Barzagli
Barzagli says Italy will be wary of England's set-pieces

2014 FIFA WORLD CUP - England v Italy

Venue:
Arena Amazonia, Manaus
Date:
Saturday, 14 June - 23:00 BST
Coverage:
BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Sport website

Italy are targeting an "extraordinary" World Cup as they prepare for their Group D opener against England, according to defender Andrea Barzagli.

Barzagli insists Cesare Prandelli's side are not concerned about the heat, humidity or the pitch in Manaus.

The 33-year-old Juventus centre-back is confident the 2006 champions will have a memorable tournament.

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"We're optimistic because we're working so much. We want to do something extraordinary," Barzagli said.

"I hope our strikers can test England's defence. They have a tough defence and we have tried several options to make life difficult for them."

Italy, who knocked England out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012, meet Roy Hodgson's team in their first match in a group that also contains Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Prandelli will be without Mattia De Sciglio for the England game after the 21-year-old defender sustained a thigh injury in training on Thursday.

The AC Milan centre-back is expected to be available for Italy's second match, against Costa Rica, on 20 June.

Italy have only kept one clean sheet in their last eight matches and Barzagli feels his team's defending against set-pieces could be crucial at the Arena Amazonia.

He added: "In recent times, we have given away more goals than we wanted but the important thing is to give solidity to our defence.

"Against England, we will have to be very careful on dead-ball situations. They are very dangerous and these are important details where we must not make mistakes."

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