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Prandelli wary of Irish pride in Poznan

AS A former pupil of Giovanni Trapattoni, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has a clear insight into the mind of the Ireland boss.

And that's why Prandelli (pictured) has sounded a note of caution ahead of their game against Ireland in Poznan tonight. The Italian media are fixated on so many issues -- what exactly Prandelli will do on July 2 after he's led Italy to the final of Euro 2012, that sort of thing -- that they're not exactly worried about the threat posed by Darron Gibson or James McClean.

Italy expect to win this game and losing would be a disaster for a side who fancy their chances of going all the way, but for Prandelli, it's not so clear cut.

"I need to be wary," he said of Ireland.


"They have a lot of national pride, they have a great ability. They will suffer in games but, as Marco Tardelli said, they want to go for a win, they want to give a gift to their fans of a win and it's a tough game for us."

It's even a concern for Prandelli -- who played for Juventus under Trap -- that Ireland are out of the competition.

"When you are out you can play more freely, perhaps the more the game wears on the more you find problems.

"Spain won 4-0 against Ireland but it was only 1-0 at 70 minutes.

"Ireland are organised, they can play football but they can fight too.

"Long balls can be a problem for us, flick-ons and counter attacks, we can't allow Ireland too much space to cause us problems," he added.