Italy manager Roberto Mancini believes Wales have the same level of physicality as Stoke City ahead of two teams’ European Championship game at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.
, who spent three-and-a-half years atManchester City
, is aware of the physical challenge his side might face when they take on
in their group stage final game.
took on Mancini 12 times during his spell at Manchester City, and the physicality of
’s side is still strong in the mind of the Italian.
However, He believes the game will not be as physical as that game against Stoke City.
"Stoke had a very tough style of play, they were a very tough nut to crack,"
Mancini told a news conference on Saturday
"It will be a very difficult match from a physical perspective because they are a powerful side like Stoke, but they are also very technical... Wales have players like (Joe) Allen, (Gareth) Bale and (Daniel) James. They have got some quality and skillful players."
Italy need only a point against Wales to secure a top spot in Group A, and many now suggesting Mancini’s men are contenders for the title after their excellent displays in their opening two games, beating Turkey and Switzerland with three goals.
"France, Spain, Germany and Portugal are used to winning, they are full of extraordinary players,"
"France remain the favorite despite the draw with Hungary.
"Then there will also be Belgium. In my opinion, nothing changes (on various potential winners)."
Marco Verratti, who has not yet featured in the tournament due to a knee injury, is in line for some game time in the Stadio Olimpico.
"Tomorrow night will be our third game and we would have rotated regardless, even if this was a must-win fixture,"
"A third game in the space of 10 days with 30-degree heat, you need fresh legs out there.
"Marco needs to play. Until today, after so many days of training, he is fine."