Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has said that the England players should be warned enough about the threat posed by the Manchester city striker Mario Balotelli ahead of the match with Italy in the quarter-finals of the Euro 2012.

England will be facing Italy in quarter-finals of the competition after their qualified from their group as the winners ahead of France. As a result, they will not be facing current world champions Spain in the quarter-final stage, which in itself is a major boost according to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, who has travelled with the England national team as part of the coaching staff.

The experience of the 37-year-old has been extremely crucial in the first three matches of the campaign. England have been able to defend bravely and in great numbers due to the experience offered by the former Manchester United defender. They are expected to once again put in a very tight and defensive display against Italy. The 2006 World Cup winners are expected to start with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli up front, and the England team should be warned enough about the talent of the 21-year-old. Antonio Cassano is expected to start from the bench.

“Joleon will know him better than we do, that’s the great thing. There will be no surprise for Joleon on Sunday and the same for John Terry who’ll have played against him as well, so that’s a good thing. But obviously knowing and playing against him means that there will be that added extra spice that Balotelli himself will want to put one over on England. He plays in the country, he’s a big figure in England with respect to the media he gets and he’s a champion of England now with Manchester City and he will be very difficult to play against,” said Neville.