Carlo confident of victory | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 21, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 21, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008 Austria-Switzerland

Carlo confident of victory

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has told La Gazzetta dello Sport he does not envisage Italy missing suspended World Cup winning midfield duo Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattuso in their Euro 2008 quarterfinal against Spain.
The pair both picked up second yellow cards in the Azzurri's 2-0 win over France, but their coach at club level feels that Roberto Donadoni's squad are more than adequately equipped to compensate for their absence.
"Unfortunately we (AC Milan) have never found a replacement for Pirlo, but in the national team there's many good players and Donadoni has an embarrassment of riches between Mauro Camoranesi, Alberto Aquilani and Simone Perrotta.
"I would say he (Aquilani) is ready. I see in him a good technical quality, but he is less powerful and dynamic."
Ancelotti, who was in the line-up alongside Donadoni when Italy beat Spain 1-0 in the Euro '88 quarterfinals, has been impressed by Luis Aragones' team, but remains confident of another Italy victory.
"Spain are a team that likes to touch the ball and plays slowly, then quickly increase their pace. We have to attack their weak spot, on the right side of defence where Joan Capdevilla plays.
"Italy will win though because they are a more aggressive and complete side."
The Milan coach has a good pedigree against Spain in international competitions and was assistant coach to Arrigo Sacchi when Italy made it past Spain in the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup.
Now he feels that Italy are starting to find their stride again and believes his new signing at the San Siro, Gianluca Zambrotta has been the pick of the team.
He also hopes that striker Antonio Cassano can keep demonstrating his newfound maturity in the starting line-up.
"After France we turned the corner and now we don't need to fear anyone.
"I've enjoyed Zambrotta's performances a lot, apart from his mistake against Romania. He has seemed energised and in form. Cassano is a great player if he maintains his discipline. Until now he has played his part."
The 49-year-old feels that Holland remains the favourite for the title, but the East European teams have surprised him so far.
"I have enjoyed Holland the most because no-one expected them to play to so high a level. I was struck by Croatia's development, but then Russia made a strong impression against Sweden."

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