Roberto Mancini has warned his Italy team to be wary of the threat of one particular England star ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2020 final against England.
The Three Lions are in the final of a major international tournament for the first time in 55 years, and go up against an Italy side who are currently 33 games unbeaten. However, England have conceded just one goal throughout the whole tournament and beat Germany, Ukraine and Denmark in the knockout rounds to reach the showpiece.
Raheem Sterling was questioned over his place in the side prior to the tournament after a tough end to the season at Man City. However, he has answered his critics with a string of superb displays this summer.
He has scored three goals so far, putting him just one behind England captain Harry Kane.
And Mancini hailed the improving 26-year-old, labelling the winger’s pace as a clear danger for his Italy team.
“England are a good side because they have a lot of good players on the bench. But if we’ve made it this far it also means we are a good team,” said Italy boss Mancini.
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“Sterling is a footballer that’s come on leaps and bounds. He’s very pacey indeed so we need to be careful of him.
“Besides him, I’m not sure who will play on the right. Then there’s Harry Kane and in the final third they have all top players, they have terrific technique and ability.”
Mancini concerned over England’s power
Mancini also admitted that England are physically stronger than Italy, urging his side to give ‘absolutely everything’ on Sunday.
“I don’t think that England only have two very physical midfielders,” he added.
“They are a very physically capable side all across the pitch.
“They are stronger than us from that perspective. But you play football with the ball on the deck, we hope we can do a better job on that score. We hope that those will be important qualities in a match tomorrow night.
“Occasionally the smaller guy wins and that’s happened to us in the past. We hope it happens this time around but we need to give it absolutely everything.”