Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli has maintained his team have 'the weapons' to challenge Spain in their Confederations Cup semi-final.
Spain and Italy will clash on Thursday for the chance to take on Brazil in the Confederations Cup final, just under a year after the Spaniards demolished Prandelli's side 4-0 in the Euro 2012 decider in Kiev.
But while much of the pre-match discussion has centred on Italy's potential desire for revenge, Prandelli has highlighted his team's strong record against Spain in the past two years.
Italy defeated Spain 2-1 in a friendly in August 2011 and drew 1-1 with the reigning world and European champions in their opening game of Euro 2012 before the huge loss in the final and Prandelli remains convinced his players can match Vicente Del Bosque's team in their Confederations Cup semi-final in Fortaleza.
"I can tell you what I've just told the players moments ago," Prandelli said on Wednesday.
"We are one of the very few teams who have challenged Spain in the last few years.
"We have played three times against them.
"We beat them in Bari, we then drew in the opening match of the Euros before losing heavily to them in the final, not many teams can boast that record.
"We are aware that tomorrow a completely different match awaits for us.
"We have the deepest respect for Spain who are world and European champions but we have worked well and are also aware that we have the weapons and the qualities to cause them a few problems.
"We'll have to be brave and possess the right personality and the focus to harm their chances when we get the chance."
Prandelli refused to commit to playing with a back three against Spain after it worked so well in the 1-1 draw at Euro 2012, claiming there is 'no perfect system' to defeat Del Bosque's side.
"I have not yet decided what system I will try against Spain because I want to try it with the players first, then, depending on how they respond, we will then agree on a common strategy," Prandelli said.
"When we drew against Spain in the group stages of Euro 2012 in Gdansk we played with some unusual tactics.
"We played three at the back and we still played well.
"There's no perfect system to face them and beat them."
|Coach: Del Bosque|
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