Italy's striker Mario Balotelli (L) and England forward Wayne Rooney (R). (AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK/MLADEN ANTONOV)
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The tactical approaches of England and Italy's wily coaches Roy Hodgson and Cesare Prandelli will come under the microscope with the oppressive atmosphere of the Amazon rainforest providing the backdrop for a Group D clash Saturday.The contrasting qualities of youth and experience will compete to tame Manaus's punishing jungle humidity as a fresh-faced England, largely unburdened by past failures, play a wizened Italy, with a squad still imbued with their 2006 World Cup success.Pirlo is one of three current Italy players with World Cup winners' medals along with 36-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and 30-year-old midfielder Daniele De Rossi.Italy's legacy of success, having reached the final in two of their last four major tournaments as well as a semi-final appearance at last year's Confederations Cup, contrasts strikingly with England's record of persistently flattering to deceive.
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