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Match 7 England V Italy 23:00 BST KO BBC1


Djstu23

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Venue: Manaus

England forward Danny Welbeck has been passed fit having overcome the ankle injury he suffered earlier this week.

However, the Italy game comes too early for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he continues to build up his fitness following a recent knee injury.

Italy may play with three central-backs after full-back Mattia De Sciglio was ruled out with a thigh strain.

Mario Balotelli has recovered from a minor hernia problem, while Marco Verratti is fit after flu.

BBC preview...

Going for a draw, come on England.....

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Is painting pitches a normal procedure? Never heard of that happening before?

Swear they did it last season I think in a UCL game in Russia, or may have been season before that. Or was it when England played Russia away? Can't remember when it was but definitely involved an English side I'm sure.

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It's days like this that I wish I was one of those weirdos who don't care for football. I'm so anxious and nervous all day so far. Been up since 9, and been cleaning my flat up from top to bottom and mowed the lawn. Even though neither really needed it. Going insane

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Is painting pitches a normal procedure? Never heard of that happening before?

I remember a few years ago Valencia painted their pitch in the opening league game against Sevilla because the Groundsman had either used the wrong fertilizer or forgot to dilute it or something and essentially killed all the grass a few days before the game, i remember the turf cutting up very easily and i think either Kanoute or Luis Fabiano went off injured because of it and Valencia had to replace the whole pitch before the next game

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Yeah I really hope that England aren't brought up at all in the other matches I really want to hear analysis on how Paulo Wanchope could guide Costa Rica to the next round or Greek comparisons to 2004.

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I hate it when England play in a tournament. I know it's completely irrational and silly but I can't help but get really worked up and nervous like Skybluedave. Obviously I love to see England in a World Cup but it's torture at the same time.

I really enjoyed the Netherlands v Spain and Chile v Australia games. It was lovely watching as a neutral and seeing some great football. Now bloody England come along to wreck that good feeling. This time I actually have to get anxious and worry about the game.

I think that's why I enjoyed USA '94 so much. No worrying about England. Although don't get me wrong, I'm so glad that we're in the tournament. I'd rather we were in it than not but it's just such a horrible feeling watching England play tournament football.

I just hope that we actually perform this time around and put in some decent displays. I don't even mind if it's more grit and determination than skill and creativity. Just be nice to feel proud of the team for a change.

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Maybe its because ITV is an English broadcaster,i'm watching a report on SKY now about Italy/England,Vialli(spelling)talking very good,,,,,,,,,times going slow lol

PS now decided to watch the Womens Hockey final :p to fill in some time!

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I hate it when England play in a tournament. I know it's completely irrational and silly but I can't help but get really worked up and nervous like Skybluedave. Obviously I love to see England in a World Cup but it's torture at the same time.

I really enjoyed the Netherlands v Spain and Chile v Australia games. It was lovely watching as a neutral and seeing some great football. Now bloody England come along to wreck that good feeling. This time I actually have to get anxious and worry about the game.

I think that's why I enjoyed USA '94 so much. No worrying about England. Although don't get me wrong, I'm so glad that we're in the tournament. I'd rather we were in it than not but it's just such a horrible feeling watching England play tournament football.

I just hope that we actually perform this time around and put in some decent displays. I don't even mind if it's more grit and determination than skill and creativity. Just be nice to feel proud of the team for a change.

I did kinda enjoy Euro 2008 in a different way. Just relaxed and enjoyed the games. But I think that was when I become much more invested in England. Took them for granted always being at tournaments. Since then I've turned into a nervous wreck when it comes to England games.

I'm going down the pub shortly before watching the game at home. Hopefully alcohol will help.

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Don't think Italy will miss Buffon that much in actual quality, maybe more of a psychological thing because Sirigu is a great keeper and I don't believe Buffon is at his best anymore. I'd be much more concerned about the lack of De Sciglio, there are so many question marks in that defence, it's chaos. I typically support Italy and dislike England, and it's going to be hugely enjoyable watching Pirlo and Verratti on the pitch at the same time, but this is such a surprisingly likeable England side and I genuinely think they're better set up for this match today. I can see Italy having lots and lots of problems whenever England go at them with pace on the wings. I also expect Italy to be ridiculously narrow when attacking hence struggling to break England down, despite England not having a single recognisable defensive midfielder on the squad.

Danger for England is if Italy dominate possession as expected, in that climate, it could tire England out greatly when chasing the ball all match. Either way my feeling is still a little more positive on England's chances, maybe a 0-0 for most of the match then England to nick a single goal on the counter whenever any of Sterling/Barkley/Lallana/Welbeck are thrown in from the bench to go at them at speed.

If it doesn't turn out to be a great match at least it's well poised to be a fascinating tactical battle anyway. Really looking forward to this one.

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I did kinda enjoy Euro 2008 in a different way. Just relaxed and enjoyed the games. But I think that was when I become much more invested in England. Took them for granted always being at tournaments. Since then I've turned into a nervous wreck when it comes to England games.

I'm going down the pub shortly before watching the game at home. Hopefully alcohol will help.

I'm also a nervous wreck with England games. I think it gets worse the longer you watch them.

Alcohol will no doubt help. I'm watching at home and have the choice of Peroni Nastro Azzurro or Old Speckled Hen. Think I will stick with the latter for tonight! :D

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I've always admired and respected Italy and usually ended up cheering them on in the latter stages of tournaments when England have usually packed up and gone home! :D Mostly because when I was a kid watching World Cups on the TV, Italy had Roberto Baggio and I just loved watching him play. Undoubtedly one of my favourite players of all time.

Italy usually start off slowly at tournaments (almost a cliché to say it) and I'm hoping that's the case tonight. Hopefully England go in with a solid game plan and perform well. I suspect it might not be a thrilling game for the neutral!

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Don't think Italy will miss Buffon that much in actual quality, maybe more of a psychological thing because Sirigu is a great keeper and I don't believe Buffon is at his best anymore. I'd be much more concerned about the lack of De Sciglio, there are so many question marks in that defence, it's chaos. I typically support Italy and dislike England, and it's going to be hugely enjoyable watching Pirlo and Verratti on the pitch at the same time, but this is such a surprisingly likeable England side and I genuinely think they're better set up for this match today. I can see Italy having lots and lots of problems whenever England go at them with pace on the wings. I also expect Italy to be ridiculously narrow when attacking hence struggling to break England down, despite England not having a single recognisable defensive midfielder on the squad.

Danger for England is if Italy dominate possession as expected, in that climate, it could tire England out greatly when chasing the ball all match. Either way my feeling is still a little more positive on England's chances, maybe a 0-0 for most of the match then England to nick a single goal on the counter whenever any of Sterling/Barkley/Lallana/Welbeck are thrown in from the bench to go at them at speed.

If it doesn't turn out to be a great match at least it's well poised to be a fascinating tactical battle anyway. Really looking forward to this one.

We cant forget about Verratti, even though it is important to close out Pirlo.

I'd take a draw and take our chances with Uruguay and Costa Rica.

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We cant forget about Verratti, even though it is important to close out Pirlo.

I'd take a draw and take our chances with Uruguay and Costa Rica.

I think England can forget about "taking Pirlo out of the game", because if you mark Pirlo then someone else has to mark Verratti, and if you mark Verratti and Pirlo (with whom? 2 hard-working midfielders playing high up the pitch?? Rooney and ??), someone else still has to mark their perfectly capable ball-playing defenders. Italy's gonna have all the ball and that's it, there's little you guys can do. What you guys can do, however, is make sure they do nothing with that ball because that attack is looking very very narrow and one-dimensional.

England can play for the draw sure but it'd be criminal not to try to exploit Italy's big defensive weaknesses. Sit back but don't forget to counter quickly.

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I think England can forget about "taking Pirlo out of the game", because if you mark Pirlo then someone else has to mark Verratti, and if you mark Verratti and Pirlo (with whom? 2 hard-working midfielders playing high up the pitch?? Rooney and ??), someone else still has to mark their perfectly capable ball-playing defenders. Italy's gonna have all the ball and that's it, there's little you guys can do. What you guys can do, however, is make sure they do nothing with that ball because that attack is looking very very narrow and one-dimensional.

England can play for the draw sure but it'd be criminal not to try to exploit Italy's big defensive weaknesses. Sit back but don't forget to counter quickly.

Rooney and Henderson, try and rush Italy's build up. Of course it depends on which Rooney turns up. If he plays like 2012 he needs to be removed. On the other hand, I agree I'm not sure we can press too high when we are not blessed with a pace at the back. Half press maybe? Would put Gerrard under a lot of pressure though. And we certainly have to test that defence, especially if Cheillini goes to left back, play Sterling up against him. I'd certainly make sure the full backs cant play out if they go 4-3-1-2 shaped. Do you think Darmain will play at left back?

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Do you think Darmain will play at left back?

I've no idea man. :D

Italy don't have a ball-playing defender. Bonucci is an overrated one.

Might not be Pirlo but sure he can pass a ball reliably enough?

Either way fine - mark out Pirlo and Verratti, forget about the defenders, and there's still De Rossi to deal with. Italy are gonna have the ball, period.

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You can tell this is a football manager forum with some of these posts. Can't wait until this game starts so we can move on past team selection and tactics and pressing and marking etc. Although it'll more than likely commence again for the next game.

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I've no idea man. :D

Might not be Pirlo but sure he can pass a ball reliably enough?

Either way fine - mark out Pirlo and Verratti, forget about the defenders, and there's still De Rossi to deal with. Italy are gonna have the ball, period.

Talk of de Rossi being dropped into centre back to be a ball playing outlet.
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