Fifa World Cup 2014: England versus Italy preview

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Manaus (Brazil), June 14: Former champions England and Italy will take on each other in a high-profile Group D match at Arena Amazônia here on Saturday.

The English will look forward to avenge the quarter final defeat in Euro 2012. They were also beaten by the Azzurris 1-2 in the third place decider match in the 1990 World Cup, the only time the two teams have met so far.

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The match on Saturday promises to be an intriguing one as both teams will look for a perfect start in what is called the Group of Death, more so after Costa Rica's stunning 3-1 win over Uruguay in the previous match.

England have only won two of their last 11 internationals against Italy

England have come to this World Cup with two draws and one win in the pre-tournament friendlies and the presence of little pressure on the outfit to produce a magic might work in their favour.

FIFA RANKINGS: ENGLAND 10; ITALY 9

The team will look up to Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Adam Lallana and of course, the veteran Wayne Rooney.

Italy's World Cup preparations, were on the other hand, hit by two draws against the Republic of Ireland and Luxembourg and the injury to Riccardo Montolivo, a key member of the team. The team will pin hope on Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pirlo to better their poor performance on 2010 when they failed to make it to the second round. The absence of skipper and veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be a worry for coach Cesare Prandelli.

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