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Barzagli insists Manaus heat will be no excuse

The two nations begin their campaigns at the Arena Amazonia on Saturday, with the heat and a sketchy pitch the cause of much debate.

Barzagli, 33, said the conditions are the same for both teams, and added it was no excuse for two professional teams.

"I think the heat will condition both teams. We have prepared quite well," he said.

"The conditions will be difficult but if you want to play at this level you need to be ready for everything.

"It will create adversity for us as just as it will for them."

Barzagli did concede the weather may have longer-lasting effects on the squad for their remaining group games with Uruguay and Costa Rica, but refuted suggestions both sides would be content for a draw accordingly.

"We cannot forget that this game could already be crucial in terms of the group," the Juventus stopper said.

"Hence the climate could impact the game but I don't think either side will plan to settle for a draw."

Italy's defence has been under the microscope in the lead-up to Brazil, with just one clean sheet in their past eight international fixtures and no wins in their past seven.

Barzagli conceded the effort of Cesare Prandelli's men at the back has been lacking at times, and said Roy Hodgson's side would be most threatening from set-pieces.

"In recent times, we have given away more goals than we wanted," he said.

"But the important thing is to give solidity to our defence.

"Against England, we will have to be very careful on dead-ball situations.

"They are very dangerous in the area and these are important details where we must not make mistakes.