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The Azzurri star knows his side will face a more youthful Three Lions team but insists Cesare Prandelli's current crop are better than the losing finalists of Euro 2012

By Liam Twomey in Rio de Janeiro

Claudio Marchisio insists Italy are fully prepared to face Roy Hodgson's new-look England squad when the two sides meet in Saturday's World Cup Group D opener in Manaus.

The clash sets up a rematch of the Euro 2012 quarter-final in Kiev which saw eventual tournament finalists Italy progress on penalties after a goalless draw.

Only seven players in Hodgson's 23-man group played that night, while the emergence of the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley has given England fans cause for optimism.

But Marchisio is adamant that Italy have also improved over the past two years and is confident that Cesare Prandelli's men will be able to cope with the formidable humidity of Manaus.

“I think we’ll meet a different England to Euro 2012," he told reporters at Casa Azzurri in Mangaratiba . "It will be a very difficult match, but just as they have changed since the Euros, so have we.

"For many of us it was our first major tournament, so we now have more experience and have done important things over the last two years.

"There is a very positive air here, as we worked well at Coverciano and in Brazil. We were glad to be given permission to have our families by our sides, as we already did at Euro 2012.

"We already saw against Fluminense what this humidity means, so the fact we worked so well over the last month has prepared us for the conditions in Manaus.

"The meetings with England are always great clashes, so we’ll let the pitch do the talking."

Marchisio also revealed that Prandelli is yet to tell his players who is likely to feature against England. 

"We don’t know who will play," he added. "We tested two different systems in the last two friendlies and have many players who allow us to be versatile.

"We’ll see what the coach chooses, but the important thing is that everyone feels they are a part of this project."

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