60-second dossier: Balotelli must be at his net-bulging best for Italy to thrive

In an experimental squad, the AC Milan hitman will be relied upon at the sharp end...

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England's Group D openers might not have won a game since September 2013, but don't read into that too much. The Azzurri were streets ahead of the Three Lions at Euro 2012, despite squeaking through on penalties in the quarter-finals, but come to Brazil with similarly hazy expectations as Roy Hodgson's men. Cesare Prandelli has named several fresh faces in his 23-man squad, but a lot may hinge on the form of Milan mad man Mario Balotelli. If it's the player who tore apart Germany at the Euros then they might just do alright; if not, goals may prove difficult to come by.