Brazil's attacking quartet pose a problem for Italy coach

Jun 22, 2013 09:11 IST

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Italy must contend with Brazil's dizzying array of attacking talent in what will be a demanding and difficult Confederations Cup match on Saturday, said coach Cesare Prandelli.

Brazil, buoyed by the return of Thiago Silva, have a glut of attacking talent, including Neymar, Hulk, Fred and Jo, with Prandelli telling a news conference he was wary of the threat.

"They have personality, strength, a strong defence and four extraordinary forwards," Prandelli said on the eve of the Group A clash at the 49,000-seat Arena Fonte Nova.

"But their main feature is when it comes down to one on ones. There are four players who can always invent a new play at any time."

taly Coach, Cesare Prandelli speaks to the media prior to the Italian Training Session at Estadio Octavio Mangabeira. Getty Images

taly Coach, Cesare Prandelli speaks to the media prior to the Italian Training Session at Estadio Octavio Mangabeira. Getty Images

"My expectation is when you play Brazil and when you play in Brazil like tomorrow, is a demanding and difficult match," he added.

"I expect heart from my players and I don't want to be defending for 90 minutes, that would be agony. We should show the courage we have shown in the previous matches. We have shown in Geneva that we can give Brazil difficulties."

Brazil, who let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 in that Geneva friendly, are in pole position to win Group A and avoid a likely semi-final with Spain due to a superior goal difference.

Brazil scored five goals without reply against Japan (3-0) and Mexico (2-0), while Italy struggled against the same opposition, winning 4-3 and 2-1 respectively.

PIRLO EXHAUSTED

Spain, who thrashed Tahiti 10-0 on Thursday will confirm top spot in Group B if they do not lose to Nigeria on Sunday.

Despite Italy needing to win to top their group, Prandelli said he had not given a possible match with the world champions a moment's thought ahead of the final group game.

"The goal of tomorrow is to play well," he said. "We don't think about Spain at all and we don't have a fear of Spain, we will talk about them later."

Italy's task is made tougher by the absence of playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who is a victim of fatigue.

The Italians have complained repeatedly about the heat and humidity and said the short time between games was causing them problems.

"The aspect of the weather and climate has been decisive," said Riccardo Montolivo, who is expected to replace Pirlo.

"The aspect of rest days is the difference in today's football. Technical and tactical qualities can make a difference only if the intensity of the match is the same for everyone. If you have more experience in quality terms you have a problem only if you have not rested enough."

Montolivo laughed when reminded that the last two Italy players to give news conferences before a match scored.

"I hope to play tomorrow and follow this tradition and then we will have a fight over who comes to the next press conference if everyone who comes scores," he said.

Reuters