World Cup 2014: Italy are used to the conditions in Manaus, Gianluca Vialli warns England

 

Former Chelsea and Italy striker Gianluca Vialli claims the Azzurri have the edge over England as they prepare to face each other in Manaus in their opening match on Saturday.

"This is the toughest group but Italy have the advantage because they have experienced Brazil before, when they played in last year's Confederations Cup," Vialli said. "Italy know about the conditions, the logistics and what to expect. It's not going to be unknown territory for us.

"England have a young squad and it's going to be really important for them to get the balance right between youth and experience. One of their main problems is going to be that Brazil will be a very alien environment for them."

Vialli believes that the heat and humidity in Manaus will be a crucial factor.

"It's the first game for both teams and it's taking place in the Amazon jungle. Both teams will be more focused on not losing it rather than winning it."

Vialli feels that in key areas, Italy also have the better players.

"If you look at any good side, it needs someone who saves and someone who scores and if you have somebody decent in the middle, then that's a bonus," he said. "So you have [Gianluigi] Buffon against [Joe] Hart, [Mario] Balotelli against [Wayne] Rooney and [Andrea] Pirlo against [Steven] Gerrard. I think Italy have the advantage.

"The expectations for Italy are not that massive, which is good because whenever we are outsiders we do well. Italy have more confidence than England going into this tournament, we have the pedigree."

He added: "England need to get rid of the fear and anxiety and the historical baggage they carry when they play in tournaments. Italy have been in major finals, won the World Cup not that long ago and have nothing to fear."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate