MIDFIELDER Christian Maggio expects Italy to be put to the test by a strong Croatia side in today’s European Championship Group C encounter in Poznan.
The Azzurri held holders Spain to a 1-1 draw on Sunday and face a Croatian side that beat the Republic of Ireland 3-1 to lead the table. “Croatia are a tough team to face,” said Napoli player Maggio. “They never give up. We have studied them and they are physically superior to us so we will have to be very careful about that.
“But we go into the encounter more charged up than before.”
Italy disappointed in their warm-up game against Russia, a 3-0 loss in Zurich on June 1, but showed promising signs against Spain. “We can do well,” Maggio said. “We played a great game against Spain and that is a sign that we can do well against anyone.”
The pressure will be on Italy, who need a win to boost their hopes of progressing. “It’s true that a draw would be a good result for Croatia while we have to play for a win,” Maggio said. “We have to go out and get three points. We need to take command of the game and make the most of our chances.
“It will be difficult but we have the quality to do it.”