Italy are a class above England, says Lippi

FIFA World-Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi said Italy will be too strong for England when the two sides meet in Brazil next month.

Cesare Prandelli's Italy will face England, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D at the World Cup, with their opening game against Roy Hodgson's men on June 14.

Visiting Italy's training camp on Thursday, Lippi - who guided Italy to the ultimate success in 2006 - said he was not expecting much from England in Manaus.

"For the England game, we are stronger, we have the better weapons," said Lippi, who is now coach of Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

"I see many similarities in the psychological profile between this group and mine that won the World Cup.

"Of course, in these events you need to be very fortunate that your important players do not get injured, that you arrive in the best condition."

Italy have not been given much of a chance to make it all the way to the final and while Lippi is hoping they defy the odds, the 66-year-old said the World Cup is between two countries.

"I think of Brazil, but in my head is also saying Germany," he said.

"The hope is that Italy triumph, of course."