Morten Olsen: Denmark fears Italy stars

The 63-year-old has respect for the Azzurri and has identified a trio of players he believes could cause his side problems, if its gameplan is unsuccessful

Denmark coach Morten Olsen has identified Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli as Italy’s key men ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier in Milan.

The two teams will meet at San Siro with Denmark desperate to kick-start its World Cup 2014 qualification campaign after picking up just two points from its opening two games in Group B.

And that will be no easy task given the quality of players at Italy's disposal, with Olsen picking out three in particular for special praise.

“[Andrea] Pirlo is certainly an important player, but we have prepared ourselves in an effort to limit all of Italy and not just Pirlo," said the 63-year-old in a press conference.

“As for [Mario] Balotelli and [Daniele] De Rossi, they’re great talents and I fear them.”

The last time the two sides played in the same group, Denmark eliminated Italy from Euro 2004 after a controversial 2-2 draw with Sweden and Olsen is wary of the impact that game may still have on Tuesday's encounter.

“I’m scared to say what I really think about that match,” claimed Olsen.

“Sweden did well to make it 2-2. That’s just the way it went.”

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