Euro 2012: Italy vs England – Pre Match Analysis
England will be most probably going with same line-up which was started against Ukraine, last Tuesday in the final match of the group stages. On the other hand, due to Chiellini’s injury and Balotelli’s influential performance against the Republic of Ireland, the possibility of Prandelli making a couple of changes in the Italian line-up is more.
Italy reached quarter-finals by two draws in its first two games against Spain and Croatia and a win in its last group stage match against Ireland, where as England reached the quarter-finals by finishing at top of Group D with two wins and a draw.
Italys tarted the tournament with a 3-5-2 formation, with Roma’s midfielder, Daniele De Rossi as a sole centre-back. Though being a defensive midfielder, De Rossi did the job of defender to a considerably appreciable level as Luis Enrique used him as a CB for Roma since March. Missing first two matches, Barzagli replaced his Juventus team-mate Bonucci in the final group match against Ireland and put up an inspiring performance. Milan right-back, Abate look much settled with Italian shirt.
Taking a look at England defense, all the four defenders had won a title with their club last season-Terry and Cole won champions leg, Lescott won EPL title and Johnson won the Carling cup. Two CBs looked settled and they are expected to provide one more fine performance. No doubt in the fact that English defensive approach will be holding the key for them.
Giacherrini started the first two games for Italy in the left wing and the introduction of 4-4-2 formation in the final group match by Prandelli left the Juventus midfielder on the bench and made PSG midfielder Thiago Motta to play in the left wing and De Rossi in the defensive midfield. As Chiellini, who played as centre-back in the last game is injured, De Rossi will be given the chance to play as CB once again and Motta will be returning to his favourite place behind the strikers. Though Maggio being a right wing-back, considering his pace, it is expected that he will be playing in the left wing
Introduction of 4-4-2 formation in the game against Sweden left Arsenal Midfielder, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who played in the left-wing against France on the bench; which in turn made Ashley Young to play in his favourite left-wing position. Parker and Gerrard provided considerable performances in the deep of the mid-filed. Though Gerrard is playing deep on the midfield, it seems like Hodgson gave him full freedom to run anywhere in the field. Liverpool Midfielder has provided most no. of assists in the tournament so far.
Cassano, with his skills has been providing big damages to the opponents. He has playing the role similar to that of Totti in WC 2006. Though Balotelli was considered as a flop of first two games, his performance against Ireland was really fine. His second goal for Italy against Ireland was an absolute cracker.
England are expected to play in the Catennacio style of play with majority of its players packed on the back. While implementing Catennacio, the coach should make sure of having quality strikers. Rooney, being of high quality while playing for his club should do the job well during counter-attacks. Welbeck’s clever back heel winner against Sweden should definitely keep him in starting line-up ahead of Carroll. As three Manchester United players are in attacking positions, the co-ordination between them will be high in providing great and clever finishes.