Ross Barkley calls for bold England display against Italy

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley has called for his England teammates to "set the tone" against Italy in the World Cup on Saturday.

The Three Lions meet the Azzurri in Manaus with a youth-infused squad that is a far cry from the team that were beaten by the same side on penalties in Euro 2012.

Barkley is one of the members who is a relative novice on the international stage, but the Everton midfielder wants to see the side put on a bold performance against Cesare Prandelli's side in South America.

Speaking to Everton's official website, the 20-year-old said: "It's very important when you go into a tournament, to set the tone in the first game. You have got to start with a good result, go into the game prepared and looking to win the game.

"With all the big-name players it's going to be a big test playing against Uruguay but if we get a good result against Italy we can take confidence into the second game. We need to be positive throughout the group stage.

"That is what I dream about, playing against the best players in the world. The top players produce it week in week out and they are out there every week giving the same performances, if not scoring then setting goals up, always fighting and getting results."

Barkley played in the 2-2 draw against Ecuador last week, and caught the eye with a typically positive performance, and the youngster claimed an assist when he beat a number of defenders before sliding a pass to Rickie Lambert who finished off the move.

However, England boss Roy Hodgson moved to play down expectations of Barkley after the game, and the Toffees star is not expected to start against Italy.

See more: Why Hodgson should unleash Barkley at the World Cup - just not against Italy.

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