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Former Seleção international Zico believes England can start the World Cup with a win against Italy

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Former Seleção international Zico believes England can beat Italy in their opening World Cup match.

The 61 year-old, who scored 48 goals in 71 matches for Brazil, hails Italy’s strength, but expects England to take confidence from holding on to take the Azzurri to penalties at Euro 2012 and may just be able to secure a vital victory this time around.

“Italy have picked themselves up after the first-round exit in 2010 and could be a side to give anybody problems in the tournament.” Zico wrote in his column for The Guardian.

“But it was encouraging for England fans that Andrea Pirlo and his team-mates had to settle for penalties when the two sides met at Euro 2012. They will meet again and the Manaus game is instrumental for England. Can they do it? I think they can.”

Italy and England have been drawn together alongside Costa Rica and Uruguay in Group D. They face off against each other at the Arena da Amazônia on 14 June.


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