While Italy are meticulously planning training regimes, Roy Hodgson prefers to rest England for the World Cup.
Cesare Prandelli even organised a two-day get-together at the Coverciano ground for a series of tests, including bloodwork, so medical staff could see which players needed extra individual training schedules to be ready for the tournament in Brazil.
Italy’s first game is against England in Manaus on June 14, but Hodgson is taking a very different approach to Prandelli.
“I have to find a way of doing it but not push their players beyond their limits. Getting the balance right in everything is all of football and all of sport,” the manager told FIFA.com.
“We have to understand that the players we're working with, all they've had is one week of rest. And some might not even have that if they're going to FA Cup finals and European Cup finals, which we hope they will.
“We have to keep those things in perspective and balance out our ability to work 12 hours a day at quite a high and intensive level, vis-a-vis the players’ ability to work at a high intensity on the back of 38 important league games, possibly as many as another 12 important games for their club.
“We come to the tournament extremely motivated with lots of ideas and lots of things we're going to work on. We've got to make sure our perspective from the whole thing is right.
“At this particular moment in time, I think we're in a good position to take part in the competition and to give a good account of ourselves, and that's all you can hope for.
“You can talk down your chances. You can play mind games. You can talk up your chances. Whatever you say, it will be seized upon by people and written.
“But, in reality, there's only one thing that counts: we've got three games, definitely. We'd like to have a lot more. We'd like to get up to about seven if we could, but we know we've got the three.”
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