Tuesday, 11 September 2007

U21 Qual: Casiraghi warns of Albania threat

Italy coach Pierluigi Casiraghi is wary of the threat Albania can pose as the Azzurrini hope to continue the form that has seen them win their opening two 2009 European Under-21 Championship qualifiers.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Durres, Casiraghi remained cautious despite already having seen his side beat the Albanians once in Group 1. He said: "It is certain to be a tough match and a very different one from the game we won 4-0 three months ago. If we want to win we will have to fight for every ball. Albania can play very good football and they are very determined and well-motivated. They have some good players who are full of enthusiasm and they will be more confident after beating Croatia."

Albania were 1-0 winners on Saturday, a result that came 24 hours after the Azzurrini picked up their second three points against the Faroe Islands. "We must remain modest and focus our attention on the match. Most of all we must keep our concentration and be patient," continued the former Juventus, Lazio and Chelsea striker.

"Our physical condition is not as good as it might be at the moment, but my players are strong and I know they will do all they can. Our group is really well-balanced, as you can see by looking at the standings," added Casiraghi, whose team are tied with Greece, Croatia and Albania on six points but lead the standings on goal difference and have a game in hand on their rivals.

Croatia v Azerbaijan
Faroe Islands v Greece (12/09/2007)

Source: UEFA

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