Roy Hodgson assured England will “not sit back against Italy” at the World Cup. “We’ll ask questions of them.”
The two nations begin their Brazilian campaign in Manaus on June 14 and it’s a tough group along with Uruguay and Costa Rica.
“We will be brave, we will believe in ourselves and we will risk defeat,” Hodgson told TalkSport.
“We won't try and sneak our way through the games because I think with the type of players we have that wouldn’t suit us.”
England’s last competitive meeting with Italy was the Euro 2012 quarter-final, when the Azzurri dominated, but were only able to win on penalties against a very defensive Three Lions.
“We have to allow our players to express themselves in the same way they do in the top Premier League teams, and I don't think you will see England sit back against Italy,” continued Hodgson.
“I hope that we will have a team on the field that is good enough to ask enough questions of the Italians. We don’t feel we need to concentrate all our efforts on containing them – we want to ask a lot of questions of them.”
England have never beaten Italy in a tournament situation, suffering two defeats and a third on penalties after it ended 0-0.