Cesare Prandelli’s men must beat the Republic of Ireland to keep their hope of qualification alive. Any result other than a score draw of 2-2 or more, coupled with an Azzurri win would see them through
“We will prepare to win the game,” he stated after the 4-0 win over Giovanni Trapattoni’s side. “We are sportsmen. Both Spain and Croatia will go out with the intention of winning.
“I have not made any calculations and we should only be interested in winning the game against Croatia.”
Prandelli is also confident that Spain will play their part and look to finish the group with a win.
“We have to do what we need to do. In my opinion, a 1-0 versus the Republic of Ireland will do because I believe that Spain will win.
“If we think about a Spanish draw with Croatia then there will be problems. The way Spain play football has become a trademark for them. They are a different side from the rest.
“Trapattoni will also do us no favours and that is only right. I’m not expecting a flat Ireland, they’ll want to win.”
This is a sentiment seemingly echoed throughout the Azzurri squad, with Gianluigi Buffon and Thiago Motta claiming that Spain enjoy winning too much to conspire against them.
“We are all professionals and this will not happen I’m sure. Pride will do his own work ” said Motta.
Group C concludes on Monday and with Italy, Spain and Croatia still in the running to make the quarter-finals.