Italy will be up against the likes of Uruguay and England in the group stages of the World Cup. After having recently lifted the competition in 2006 and also after a good performance in the Euro 2012, Italy have been put are some of the favourites for the title. Uruguay have also done well in recent major tournaments. Their attack, which is spearheaded by Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, is regarded as one of the best in the world. This has put England as the rank outsiders to qualify from the group stages, but Italy’s manager Cesare Prandelli thinks otherwise.

He says that England have improved massively in recent months under the leadership of Roy Hodgson, who took over from Fabio Capello just before the Euro 2012. England once again suffered the early exit in that tournament, but Hodgson has been determined to put things right by adopting a new tactic. He recently brought in a sports psychologist in order to help the players get over the mental block of the nation not having went past the quarter-finals of a major tournament for a long time.

Hodgson has also done away with older players like Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole and it has helped the emergence of youngsters like Jack Wilshere and Luke Shaw.

“I think England have improved a lot. They have discovered new players, especially the wingers, and athletic players who run a lot. Despite the fact we dominated that game, we weren’t able to score – I’m sure this will be a totally different match to the one we played two years ago. We’ll find a different England, with different footballers, because like I said, in the last months they have been good and lucky enough to scout new and talented players,” said Prandelli.

Italy recently lost in a friendly to world champions Spain.