Rome, Feb 24: Italian head coach warned that his side’s opponents in the Euro2016 qualifiers are not as easy to handle as many consider.
The Azzurri have been drawn in group H which also includes Croatia, Bulgaria, Norway, Azerbaijan and Malta, reports Xinhua.
Prandelli insisted that while Italy were fortunate to have avoided two notable teams in Belgium and Switzerland from Pot 2, their qualifiers could in no way be plain sailing.
“It’s true that we avoided Belgium and Switzerland, but I don’t think that Croatia are inferior to those two teams,” Prandelli said.
“This is not as easy a group as many think. It is a challenging round. Croatia and Bulgaria are potential winners of the group,” he said.
“We have played Malta recently and know the difficulties that lie ahead — Norway are a good team and Azerbaijan is going through a period of growth,” he added.
Croatia head Coach Niko Kovac ranked Italy as favourites in their group.
“I am satisfied with the draw, but to be objective, I think Italy are the favourites in our group,” he said.
“However, the rest of the teams in this group are also serious contenders,” he said.