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Italians: England will be a challenge, but can be overcome

Francesco Totti believes that England will prove to be a "difficult" obstacle for Italy to overcome in their upcoming match in Kiev on Sunday night, ensuring the Azurri of a place in the semifinals.

The Roma captain feels that his troops deserve credit for being able to survive in a group containing Spain, Croatia and Ireland, but is quite aware that the next few days won’t be a walk in the park.

"Italy has had a good Euros up until now," Totti told Sky Sport Italia. "It was important to get through the first round.”

"But the knockout phase begins now and the match against England will be difficult, but Italy can do well."

The trequartista explained that he has been keeping himself in shape because he is expecting a very punishing pre-season with the Giallorossi's new coach, Zdenek Zeman, who has returned for a second spell at the Stadio Olimpico.

"Now it is all beginning again, and the training will be tough," Totti mused. "Fortunately, I know Zeman well and I know what I'm in for. So, I try to get myself ready for the start of pre-season."

Aside from Totti, fellow Italian Andrea Pirlo has voiced his opinion that England is very predictable and would very much lack the quality to upset Italy.

The Juventus midfielder has observed that England is less a challenge and is confident the Azzurri will exploit their weaknesses.

"People talk about England playing the Italian way, but that's rubbish. Only Italy can play the Italian way. And we do not care for anyone who tries to impersonate us," Pirlo stated to Sky Sports.

"Maybe they will adopt a different approach against us, but I doubt it because in some ways they are very predictable.”

"I have seen some of England's games in this tournament. They have been more practical than impressive, and we are confident of beating them.”

"They have weaknesses that we can exploit, particularly in midfield. They are missing some key players and I think we will have the measure of them in that area.”

"They also look very nervous at times in defence and, France aside, they have not had to play against too many big nations."

What do you think?

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