Antonio Conte has been assessing England’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the Euro 2020 final and has some advice for the Azzurri as they prepare for the final. The former Chelsea boss is respectful of the Three Lions’ talents but believes they can be got at if Italy uses the correct tactics.
With England’s win over Denmark setting them up against Italy in the Euro 2020 final, it has seen many fans and critics hand both managers advice. Former Italy boss Antonio Conte is the latest in that line but the former Azzurri head coach is well-placed to talk about English football. Conte won the Premier League and FA Cup during his two years in charge of Chelsea between 2016 and 2018 and believes that the Three Lions pose a greater offensive threat than Italy’s semi-final opponents Spain.
Having spent two years in charge of the Italian national side as well, Conte believes he has identified an area of the pitch his former players can exploit on Sunday. Relying on the speed pace, dribbles and trickery of wide players like Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho, Conte believes that England could cause serious problems for Italy. Furthermore, Conte also added that Italy need to use their experience against a tough English side especially given their aggressive pressing style.
“Unlike Spain, who tended to pass it backwards, England always tries to hit you in one-on-one situations. Dribbling, cutting inside and overlaps. there’s not only Sterling but also Saka, Foden, Sancho, 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,” Conte said, reported by Goal.
“In the middle of the park they have two very physical midfielders in Rice and 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 when building from the back, they aren’t as good as Spain at escaping their opponents’ press.
“But if you go after them with ultra-offensive pressing and they do escape, then watch out for their pace upfront. Again, this is when the Italy players must show their experience at reading the various moments of the game,” he added.