Saturday June 15 2013
Pot: 'Holland stronger than Italy'

Italy beat Holland 3-0 in a friendly last year, but Dutch Coach Cor Pot is confident “we are stronger” ahead of tonight’s Under-21 semi-final.

The Azzurrini earned seven points from the three group stage games and will face Holland at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT) in Petah Tikva.

“We know Italy are a very strong country – but we are strong as well,” Coach Pot told

“The competition in Italy is a little stronger than in Holland, but I am happy we have a lot of players who play at the top of the Dutch league and also in other leagues in Germany and Portugal. We have players who have played in the senior team.

“When you come to the tournament you have a task, and that task is to win. We didn’t come here for a holiday, we came here for results. From the beginning I have always said we come to Israel to become European champions.

“We scored eight goals in two matches and we were playing attractive, attacking football.”

Holland changed their entire starting XI for the final group game, which they lost 3-0 to Spain, after beating Germany and Russia to secure qualification.

Bram Nuytinck is out for the rest of the tournament after picking up a knee injury and Pot said he will field “more or less” the same side that beat Germany and Russia.

Italy tactician Devis Mangia made his debut on the bench in August 2012 with a 3-0 friendly victory over Holland.

“They had almost the same team in August and they made a very good impression on us,” continued Pot.

“They scored three goals, so we have been warned about the quality of Italy. But I think we are stronger so it will be an open match, an interesting match.”

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