World Cup 2014: Italy have advantage over England - Vialli

Gianluca Vialli in action for Italy in 1992
Former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli won 59 caps for Italy

Former Italy striker Gianluca Vialli believes the Azzurri will have a "slight advantage" over England in Saturday's World Cup clash.

The Group D rivals begin their campaign in Manaus at 23:00 BST.

Vialli, who won 59 caps, says Italy's experience in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil gives them the edge.

Vialli told BBC Radio 5 live: "We feel we've learnt a lot from being in Brazil last year, so we feel we've got a slight advantage."

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World Cup 2014: Gianluca Vialli looks ahead to England v Italy

Italy reached the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup in June 2013 when they were beaten on penalties by Spain.

Vialli added: "We know the problems with the logistics, the organisation but, more importantly, all the problems related to the climate, especially when it comes to fitness.

"For England, Brazil is an unknown territory. It's a guessing game."

Vialli spent six years as a player and manager in England with Chelsea and Watford from 1996 to 2002.

The 49-year-old said England players struggled to cope with the weight of expectation at major tournaments.

Vialli said: "As an outsider, I look and I read and I know English fans and the media, for about four years, have been a bit depressed about the national team and have very little expectations.

"But then the World Cup arrives and all of a sudden you start talking about semi-finals, the final and how this is the strongest team you've had in the World Cup for years. It's quite funny.

"The Italian players know how to handle this. English players only feel the pressure when they play for the national team. When they play in the Premier League, it's fun, it's great - there's not as much pressure.

"It's about adjusting themselves from clubs to country."

Italy beat England on penalties in the Euro 2012 quarter-finals when Roy Hodgson's side held on to force the shootout after a goalless draw in Kiev.

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Italy beat Fluminense 5-3 in their final warm-up game

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli predicts a more adventurous approach from the Three Lions in Manaus.

Prandelli said: "We will be up against an England side different from the one we beat, with a wealth of attacking talent as well as an organised and creative midfield.

"Their players have great personalities and psychological strength. But we have prepared for this game to win and are confident that we have all the ingredients required to come out on top in what should be a pulsating clash.

"England have every reason to be confident because they have so much depth and their forwards are very apt at creating and using space."

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