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Chiellini: Italy must focus only on Ireland

Monday, 18 June 2012 06:02
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Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has called on his team-mates to focus solely on their must-win Euro 2012 clash with the Republic of Ireland and ignore the speculation that Spain and Croatia could conspire to play out a mutually-beneficial draw in the other game in Group C.

The Azzurri will bow out of the tournament should their qualification rivals draw by a score of 2-2 or higher in Gdansk but the versatile Juventus centre-back believes Cesare Prandelli's men must only worry about their own game.

"We should focus only on Ireland," Chiellini told reporters at a press conference on Monday evening.

"Maybe you see it differently from the outside, but our only objective is to win and not think about good luck, bad luck or anything else.

"We played two good games against excellent teams and must simply improve on a few errors we made at the front and the back. If we win, then a new tournament can begin for us."

Speculation is rife that Italy boss Prandelli will switch from the 3-5-2 formation deployed against Spain and Croatia to a 4-3-1-2 for the meeting with the Irish but Chiellini has insisted that that the potential formation change will not make much difference to him.

"It’s all the same for me," the 27-year-old explained. "In previous years I almost always played in a four-man defence.

"I have had a long career and we’ve all played in various systems, so we have shown our versatility. The important thing is to remain balanced.

"I’ve already played with most of my team-mates and we’ve been training for a month to ensure we’re all on the same page. When that is the case, it gives you an advantage in any tactical approach."

Italy's encounter with Giovanni Trapattoni's side will get under way at 20:45CET.

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