Italy prepare for England by training in sauna

Italy's provisional World Cup squad have started training for their opening game against England on June 14 by simulating Manaus weather.

Cesare Prandelli's chosen men started work at the national team's Coverciano training facility this morning preparing for their World Cup campaign.

Expectations in Italy, as in England, are relatively low and many pundits in the peninsula believe the group stage could be a tough test.

Pitted against England, Uruguay and Costa Rica, Italy will need to hit the ground running and are trying to acclimatise to the challenging conditions of Manaus ahead of time.

The Italian national coaches and support staff created an ad hoc sauna for the team to train in for short bursts this afternoon.

The players were put through their paces and underwent medical and physical tests, including running against resistance.

Italy are keen to be at the forefront of sport science and every aspect of the players' preparations will be measured and data gathered to establish how they are progressing.

The first test for Italy is England in Manaus on June 14 before they move to Recife to face Costa Rica on June 20 and round off the group matches in Natal against Uruguay.

The Italian squad was on the whole well received by the press but some felt that Zenit Saint Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito and Genoa striker Alberto Gilardino were unfortunate to miss out.

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