Germany favourites but we will attack them: Prandelli
Warsaw: Cesare Prandelli has declared that Italy will take the game to Germany in Thursday`s Euro 2012 semi-final showdown in Warsaw, even though he believes his side will be severely handicapped by having had two fewer days of rest ahead of the game.
The Azzurri only booked their place in the last four on Sunday, defeating England on penalties after a 120-minute war of attrition. Die Mannschaft, meanwhile, cruised through courtesy of a 4-2 win over Greece two nights before.
While Prandelli is in a bullish frame of mind, he is in no doubt that fatigue will be a major factor in the latest chapter in his country`s epic rivalry with Germany.
"Germany have had two days extra to recover," he told reporters at a press conference on Monday. "This is a big handicap for us.
"Germany are the favourites. We must prepare well in terms of the little details. We also know that we can play our own game.
"We must read Germany`s game well and take risks; I prefer to concede on the break than sit back, wait and suffer for 20 minutes.
"A side that can have 35 shots on goal in a match will win nine times out of 10. We also had 68 per cent possession against England, so our style of play is certainly not a defensive one.
"We have a side that is aware of what it’s doing, it’s growing game to game and wants to measure up to the biggest teams.
"The England match showed we had the courage to keep playing the right way and to stick to our methods.
"Germany are athletically strong but if we play well, there are no invincible sides for us. Every team has a weak point and we must exploit it."
That sense of adventure and willingness to attack is seen as very `un-Italian`, given the country`s history of defensive excellence.
However, Prandelli believes that the Azzurri`s newfound attacking endeavour is merely a reflection of a significant and widespread shift in the way teams are approaching the game.
"The new generation want to see this kind of football and not have teams thinking about the final result from the very first minute," he opined.
"At the moment, the teams that make the difference are those who raise the defensive line and have the courage to play."
When then asked if there had been a tactical revolution, Prandelli replied: "We`re still only at the beginning but we have the responsibility to try."
Meanwhile, Prandelli singled out Andrea Pirlo for some special praise, not only because of his inspirational chipped penalty in the shoot-out, but also the way in which he controlled the game almost from start to finish.
"Pirlo is one of best midfielders in world," the former Fiorentina boss enthused. "Others maybe score more but the consistency he has over the course of a match is simply extraordinary."
Italy`s eagerly-awaited encounter with Joachim Low`s side will get under way at 20:45CET.