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Attacking Threat Can Cause Italy Problems

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England will pose a different threat to Italy this year thanks to more attacking potential.

Richard Heathcote

Two years ago England and Italy played themselves into a dull 0-0 draw, which was finally settled as Italy knocked England out of the tournament on penalties. That night, it looked like neither team had much interest in going forward, but according to England defender Glen Johnson, things will be much different this year:

I think we had a good team when we played Italy last time, but now we have more players who can hurt them attacking-wise," said Johnson.

"We have a bit more pace in the squad as well so hopefully we will get further on.

"I don't think Italy will have met an England team like this before. The team we had before was a good side but maybe it was slightly defensive.

"If we can defend well now and use some of the pace and ability we have going forward we can cause problems."

Anyone watching the game against Honduras would find it hard pressed to believe the above. England toiled for 90 minutes trying to find a way through and had it been for some better finishing from Daniel Sturridge we may be talking about a comfortable 2-0 or 3-0 win.

I think it's reasonable for England to assume they have the capability to cause some problems, based on the pace them now possess in the side. I don't care what anyone says, pace kills. We have had a lack of pace historically over the past 3-4 tournaments but now with the likes of Sturridge, Sterling, Ox and Barkley, we have it in bundles.

However for Johnson to talk about causing Italy some problems, he'll need to ensure he sorts out his consistency issues and take care of his primary job, which is stopping Italy from scoring.

Despite all the talk, I still expect this to be a 0-0 or 1-0 affair.