Claudio Marchisio assures Italy “know England’s style of play” and will focus on quality against Roy Hodgson’s men.
The Juventus midfielder spoke at a Press conference ahead of Saturday’s World Cup opener.
“We know England’s style of play, but tried with players of quality like Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti and Thiago Motta to keep the ball and attack them.
“England have physically strong players and are very quick in a classic 4-4-2. We are very different teams, but we must stick to our own playing style regardless of the opponents.”
The Azzurri drew 0-0 with the Republic of Ireland, 1-1 with Luxembourg and beat Brazilian club side Fluminense 5-3 with completely different line-ups and systems.
“We saw some positive and less positive things from our test games. We tried to work on the defensive movements this week, especially after seeing the problems against Luxembourg,” continued Marchisio.
“We played those games during periods of intense physical training, so we weren’t as sharp as usual. We are trying to make this team, this machine, more and more perfect. Now we just need to start this tournament and get on the field.
“We have a very difficult group, but that mustn’t be used as an excuse if things don’t go well. The first game is very important.
“Time-outs are fundamental, as in this climate and humidity the energy seeps out of you very quickly. We saw that in the Confederations Cup that the conditions are very different in various Brazilian cities.
“The most important thing is to reach these tournaments in good physical shape. You can work on mentality and tactics up to the last day, but fitness levels are the real key.”