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Prandelli: Stakes high for Italy

The pressure is on Italy to perform in their World Cup  qualifier away to Armenia, coach Cesare Prandelli suggested Thursday on the eve of the Group B tie in Yerevan.

“I am waiting to see an Italy side alive to the fact that the stakes are high,” said Prandelli. “We have to play at a high rhythm against Armenia in order to exploit our qualities.”

The Italians have four points from two matches after being held to a 2-2 stalemate by Bulgaria in Sofia in their opening qualifier before a laboured 2-0 win over minnows Malta.

After Armenia, the EURO 2012 beaten finalists return to Milan next Tuesday to face a Denmark team that drew 0-0 against the Czech Republic.

“I’m sure we won’t make the same mistakes as we did in September, but against Armenia we have to have commitment, because it will be a hard, physical encounter,” Prandelli said earlier this week.