Claudio Marchisio expects England to put up a tough fight when they face Italy on Saturday.

England face Italy in their Group D opener this weekend in Manaus. Two years ago, the Italians dumped England out of UEFA EURO 2012 on penalties following a 0-0 draw. Cesare Prandelli's side had the upper hand throughout the second-round clash in Kiev, dominating possession and creating far more chances.

But Marchisio has been impressed by the players who have broken into the England team since EURO 2012 and he is therefore expecting perhaps a tougher contest in Manaus.

"I think we'll meet a different England to EURO 2012," the Italy midfielder told a press conference at the team's base in Mangaratiba. "It will be a very difficult match. The meetings with England are always great clashes. They have changed a lot of players. The players have played very well in their clubs - but we have changed as well."

Italy qualified for the FIFA World Cup™ with two matches to spare, but they then failed to win in their next seven. Their only recent win came against Brazilian club side Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The meetings with England are always great clashes. They have changed a lot of players.

Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio

Marchisio says the players are upbeat ahead of their game against England, partly because of the fact that they have been allowed to bring their families to Brazil.

"There is a very positive air here," the Juventus midfielder said. "We worked well in Coverciano and in Brazil. We were glad to be given permission to have our families by our sides, as we already did at EURO 2012."

Marchisio says Prandelli is yet to tell the squad who will play against England.

He added: "We don't know who will play against England. We tested two different systems in the last two friendlies and have many players who allow us to be versatile.

"We'll see what the coach chooses, but the important thing is that everyone feels they are a part of this project."