Paolo Di Canio believes Roy Hodgson can cause problems for the Azzurri, as his England “look like an Italian team from the 80s.”
The two sides go head-to-head in the Euro 2012 quarter-final on Sunday evening and Di Canio, who never actually received a senior Italy cap, gave his analysis of the clash.
“It is obvious that England play in a manner that can put Italy in trouble,” the Swindon Town manager told BBC Sport.
“Hodgson is an old fox and they look like an Italian team from the 80s. England have done a good job so far although they have had a bit of luck, like Italy.
“Italy are similar although they are a bit more solid. They are a tactical side but perhaps a bit more fantasy in terms of the individual players such as Andrea Pirlo, Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli.
“England can be effective too though and I think it should be a good show. Although anything is possible, I don't see a game where one team will win 2-0 or 3-0 and go through easily.”
The winning side will go through to the semi-final against Germany.
“It's hot and it has been a long season for the players. There are some high-tempo moments but, after a long season, it's hard to run, press together and counter-attack in numbers for 95 minutes at the top level.
“It will be a balanced game and there is a big possibility the game will go to extra-time.
“The big chance that you have to get to the semi-final is to do something special,” continued Di Canio.
“Euro 2012 is a very short tournament and the players know they will need to give everything. It's up to the players to give their best.
“These tournaments come along once every four years, and perhaps this will be the last tournament for some players.
“The players must go over their possibilities and it could be a game they remember for the rest of their lives.”