England v Italy will be a close match predicts Steven Gerrard
England are three games away from winning Euro 2012, although those matches could easily be against Italy, Germany and Spain.
June 20th, 2012
The Azzurri are first up for Roy Hodgson’s team after England claimed top spot in Group D and the two teams may be evenly-matched which could see the quarter final go to extra-time and penalties.
Steven Gerrard is predicting a tight encounter with neither team wanting to concede that first goal and the England captain is hoping that his side can get a rub of the green to claim a place in the semi-final.
“It was fantastic to top the group and we need to enjoy it now but then dust ourselves down because it will be a very tough game against the Italians,” the Liverpool skipper said.
“They are a very tough team to beat. They are good defensively, have got a fantastic keeper in (Gianluigi) Buffon, and they’ve also got match winners in the ranks.
“They are similar to us and it will be a very close game. Let’s not under-estimate them one little bit.
“But, if we get that bit of luck and play well, I’m confident we can do well.”
It will be interesting to see whether Mario Balotelli starts the match or instead remains on the bench, with Cesare Prandelli preferring Antonio di Natale and Antonio Cassano against Ireland.