FIFA World Cup Today Matches


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World Cup Match Preview: England vs. Italy

World Cup Match Preview: England vs. Italy

Match Date: 14 June 2014 (local time)

Venue: Manaus

 

England

Roy Hodgson will be sporting a squad characterized by a combination of youthful energy and experienced pitch warriors. England’s head honcho has readily expressed his confidence that his players, most especially the younger ones will deliver during the awaited football tournament.

 

Among the youngsters who made it to the cut were Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Raheem Sterling and Danny Welbeck. Wayne Rooney , Joe Hart, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard among others were some of the veterans that were included in the team. Ashley Cole was eventually left out of the top picks.

 

When asked about his choices, Hodgson stressed that the young players’ impressive performances have readily convinced him to list down their names. Hodgson literally broke down the norm of having veteran players dominate the squad. Tacitly, he explained that exposure is the best way to give the players the experience they need and that all of the veteran members that he chose were once inexperienced players too.

 

Given this aspect at hand, England presents a balanced squad, which will capitalize on the intensity of its young members and wisdom of the veterans. Such is a strategic move, which aims to bolster its attacking options against Italy. And with their capped players around, Hodgson expects a wiser and more creative approach on the pitch.

 

Concerning England’s dismal reputation during penalties, Hodgson explained that such issue “bores” him. The Three Lions’ top brass implied that such aspect is more of a psychological warfare and mentioned that its best remedy is to prevent such aspect from consuming the whole squad.

 

Italy

Four-time World Cup champion, Italy, is one of the prominent squads to feature in the biggest footballing competition in the world.

 

Italy’s performance during the recently concluded Confederations Cup gives a sneak preview of what to expect from the squad. During the brief competition, the Gli Azurri has managed to bag the 3rd spot away from Uruguay. The squad’s impressive performance during the penalty turned the match’s result into their favor.

 

As always, the presence of the experienced goalkeeping maestro, Gianluigi Buffon was instrumental in the said win. His heart stopping saves is one of the awaited scenarios in the 2014 World Cup.  But Buffon’s spectacular performance is not just a must-see for all football lovers, but most importantly, to its upcoming opponents. Buffon is one of the strongest forces in the pitch that every squad has to face. With him guarding the net, this veteran is readily capable of causing upsets.

 

Mario Ballotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy’s tandem is also set to make some noise. And so is the return of Guiseppe Rossi. Injury issues, however, seem to eclipse Shaarawy and Rossi’s participation. But even Ballotelli’s inclusion might also raise some questions. Recently, Italy’s top brass, Cesar Prandelli stressed the importance of composure in his squad. He explained that players who are easily provoked have no place in his group. And given the AC Milan’s strikers child-like and immature outburst on the pitch, there is a high possibility that temper issues may cause troubles for the Gli Azzurri.

 

Nevertheless, if the above-mentioned conditions prevent the entry of the said players, Italy can always go to Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile, who have been prolific this season. There is also Domenico Berardi who is fast becoming a striking force in Serie A.

 

Lastly, it will be surprising not to see the legendary and creative playmaker, Andrea Pirlo to be left out of the club. His sheer presence alone is more than enough to send tremors to their opponent’s side. As a matter of fact, even Roy Hodgson describes Pirlo as a dangerous man on the pitch.

 

Prediction: Italy

 

Image Source: Squawka

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