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England target Italy playmaker Pirlo

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By Joe Haining

Tuesday 10 June 2014

England head coach Roy Hodgson has a plan to stop Italian playmaker Andrea Pirlo, according to The Independent.

Andrea Pirlo is one of the most dangerously creative players in world football, and England feel that stopping him is the key to success against Italy.

England boss Roy Hodgson, who briefly coached Pirlo at Internazionale early in the midfielder’s career, knows that his team will have to do a better job of containment than they did in the 2012 European Championships, when Pirlo inspired Italy to quarter final victory over Hodgson’s team.

The master plan appears to be to play with much higher energy levels, which Hodgson thinks will be possible as England will face the Italians in the first game of the tournament. They will also deploy a more compact formation in an attempt to stifle Pirlo’s opportunities to dictate the game.

Jack Wilshere could be included in a packed England midfield, and he recognises the importance of stopping the Juventus man, saying: “There will be times in the game when he gets on the ball and then we just have to narrow in and stop his forward balls.”

Pirlo has been capped more than 100 times by his country, but claimed in his recent autobiography that he will retire from international duty after this World Cup.

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