Stopping Pirlo key for England, says Jack Wilshere

England midfielder Jack Wilshere believes stopping Italian legend Andrea Pirlo will be a priority for England as they prepare to take on the former four time world champions in their opening group match of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The 35 year old Juventus midfield maestro ran England ragged with his range of passing and vision the last time these two nations met back in Euro 2012 and although England managed to hold on till extra time, a sublime penalty from Pirlo clinched the match for the Italians in the shootout.

And Wilshere, who knows how it is like to come up against a midfielder of the Italian’s caliber, says that the team has been preparing for the match against Italy with their warm up games.

Although Jack Wilshere says that they know Pirlo is not getting any younger, he also added that the team is smart enough to understand that his class cannot be overlooked.

Only goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is older than Pirlo in the Italian team and having played 43 times for Juventus last season, the former AC Milan and Inter Milan star is bound to suffer from some issues with fatigue.

Wilshere believes there will come a time in the match when Pirlo will get hold of the ball and the England players will have to narrow down the space and stop him from making the forward passes.

Jack Wilshere has said that Pirlo is the main player in the team, he is the anchor, and he picks up the ball and sprays it around as the central playmaker of the team. And the Arsenal man believes the England team has learned from its experience in 2012 and have a good enough plan set to thwart the advances of the legendary Italian playmaker as they plot their escape from the Group of Death.