Mark Hughes has warned Wales must be wary of Italy's "dark arts" ahead of Sunday's clash – nearly 20 years after leading them to a famous win against the Italians.
The Manchester United legend spoke to DailyStarSport about what he learned from facing them during his spell in the Wales dugout.
Craig Bellamy secured a dramatic 2-1 win at the Millennium Stadium in 2002, before Filippo Inzaghi netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 revenge win at the San Siro the following year.
And Hughes, who managed clubs including Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, believes they need to fight them at their own game if they are to pull off an upset.
Speaking to us at a Betfair event ahead of the Euro 2020 game, Hughes said: "I've played against Italian national teams, I've managed against them and I've played against club sides during my career.
"It's a huge test because what they're good at, from a stereotypical view, is being very defensive and very difficult to break down, and that's absolutely true because they are.
"They take pride in defending, Italian defenders love to defend, get close to you and make it difficult for you.
"They're quite rehearsed in getting the lead and then closing the game out, they don't care about upsetting people. They've got all those traits and those dark arts."
But Hughes added that Wales must plan for more than just tough defence, with Italy boasting quality players in attack too.
His Wales side faced global stars including Alessandro Del Piero and Christian Vieri, and said the current squad aren't short of fire power either.
Hughes said: "On the back of it you have to admire the quality of players they produce.
"Del Piero, the likes of those quality players in key positions, where even if they are struggling and going behind in games they have individuals who can win games on their own.
"They still have those players sprinkled through their side, so Italy will always cause you problems.
"You've got to take your chances, God forbid you go behind against them, because it's very difficult to get back on terms with them."
Wales go into the game, which starts at 5pm, off the back of an opening draw with Switzerland and a brilliant win against Turkey.
For this Euros, Betfair is now offering No Cash Out Suspensions on Match Odds markets, find out more here:https://betting.betfair.com/football/euro-2020/
Buy the official EURO 2020 Tournament Programme with a special Wembley London cover now:
Source: Read Full Article