Cesare Prandelli, Italy coach
First and foremost, we need to focus on continuing to grow as a team. We’ve still got time. But we’re Italy and naturally, with the greatest respect to the other sides in the group, we’re aiming to finish in first place.
Vladimir Smicer, Czech Republic assistant coach
We were already drawn in the same group as Denmark, Bulgaria and Malta in 2002 World Cup qualifying. We weren’t able to qualify back then, so I hope this story has a happier ending. Italy are in the mix too this time and, given they’re seeded, they have a slight edge. It’s a well-balanced group: Malta are capable of surprise results, while Italy are the favourites and the other three teams will have to work hard to try and knock them off their stride.
John Buttigieg, Malta coach
Italy are one of the best teams in the world. It’s always interesting taking on a side like that, given that they’ve got millions of fans all around the globe, but for us they’re just like any other team. The other groups aren’t that different to ours in terms of quality. Group B might seem the most difficult because it features countries who’ve played at several World Cups, but all the groups are tough.