Prandelli cools 'biscotto' talk
Cesare Prandelli insists Italy have not been disturbed by talk of a possible 'biscotto' between Spain and Croatia in their final game.
Last Updated: 18/06/12 12:14pm
Cesare Prandelli insists Italy have not been disturbed by talk of a possible 'biscotto' between Spain and Croatia in their final Euro 2012 Group C match.
Italy, who face the already-eliminated Republic of Ireland in their concluding game on Monday night, will be knocked out if the encounter between Spain and Croatia finishes in a score draw of 2-2 or above.
Speculation has surfaced in Italy over the possibility of the two sides arranging such a result - known as a biscotto, or biscuit in English - as it would secure both teams' progression into the knockout rounds.
The Azzurri believed they were victims of such an arrangement back in 2004, when Sweden and Denmark drew 2-2 in their final game to eliminate them on head-to-head records.
But Prandelli is not paying any attention to the rumours this time around and insists his players are concentrating on facing the Irish.
"I said the same thing three days ago, it depends on us, we have to prepare for this match and think only about our result," said the coach on Sunday.
"What the media has been saying has not disturbed us in any way, we're totally concentrated on this game.
"Spain's image is based totally on their attractive style of play, on the spectacle and on having fun and it's impossible for them to consider fixing a match.
"We're thinking only about the difficulties we'll face but I'm also sure we've got the skills to win it."
Ireland have lost their two opening games, with last week's 4-0 defeat at the hands of holders Spain sealing their flight home, but Prandelli feels they could be dangerous now the pressure is off.
"The difficulty is that obviously when you take away the tensions of (trying to qualify for the quarter-finals) they can play with freedom," he said.
"They did lose 4-0 to Spain but after an hour it was just 1-0 and that shows they can fight and they know how to play.
"We will have to do well to control the tempo and not allow ourselves to be opened up."