Antonio Conte warns Italy must be wary of England’s ‘one-on-one situations’ in attack before hailing Harry Kane as ‘devastating’ and a ‘sniper’ in the box… but claims Three Lions’ defence can be vulnerable when pressed ahead of Euro 2020 final
- Conte spent two years as Italy boss from 2014-2016 but returned to club football
- The former Chelsea manager left Inter Milan this summer after winning Serie A
- And Conte, 51, highlighted his perceived weak spots of two England midfielders
- But he warned the Azzurri to beware of speed and trickery of England widemen
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Antonio Conte has warned Italy about the dangers of England’s ‘one-on-one situations’ in attack and ‘sniper’ Harry Kane, but highlighted a weakness in their defence ahead of the Euro 2020 final.
Italy face Gareth Southgate’s side in the European Championship tournament showpiece at Wembley on Sunday, and Conte ran the rule over the Three Lions, evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.
The former Juventus and Chelsea boss, 51, told Gazzetto dello Sport that the defence could be vulnerable when pressed, but urged Roberto Mancini’s men to beware of England’s speed and trickery on the break.
Former Italy manager Antonio Conte has revealed his thoughts on England’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the Azzurri’s European Championship final against them on Sunday
Conte warned the Italy defence to beware ‘one-on-one situations’ with England attackers
He said: ‘Unlike Spain, who tended to pass it backwards, (England) always try to hit you in one-on-one situations. Dribbling, cutting inside and overlaps… there’s not only (Raheem) Sterling but (Bukayo) Saka, (Phil) Foden, (Jadon) Sancho, (Jack) Grealish.
‘And then of course Harry Kane. Many praise his ability to go get the ball and link up with the team, as with the equaliser against Denmark. Of course, he is very good at that, but it is in the middle of the penalty area that he is very strong, a sniper, and I would always keep him there as a manager, because he can be devastating.
‘In the middle of the park they have two very physical midfielders in (Declan) Rice and (Kalvin) Phillips, capable players who bring balance but very few vertical passes, often going for the easiest option. One of England’s weak spots is that if their defence is pressed they aren’t as good as Spain at escaping their opponents’ press.
The ex-Chelsea boss also praised England captain and striker Harry Kane as a ‘sniper’ and ‘devastating’, but said Italy could target the defence, who are vulnerable ‘to being pressed’
‘But if you go after them with ultra-offensive pressing and they do escape, then watch out for their pace up front. Again, this is when the (Italy) players must show their experience at reading the various moments of the game.’
The Azzurri have old stagers Giorgio Chiellini, 36, and Leonardo Bonucci, 34, at the heart of their defence and backup Emerson Palmieri at left-back after the superb Leonardo Spinazzola’s injury, with England’s pace providing a real threat to them.
However, Mancini will know their fearsome front three of Lorenzo Insigne, Federico Chiesa and Ciro Immobile will be one of the strongest attacks England have faced this entire competition.
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