Hodgson happy to avoid Spain
England boss risks giving Italy additional motivation
Last Updated: June 20, 2012 4:02pm
Roy Hodgson: Thinks it is an 'advantage' for England to have avoided Spain in the last eight
Roy Hodgson believes it is an advantage for England to be facing Italy and not Spain in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012.
After Tuesday night's win over Ukraine coupled with France's defeat by Sweden, the Three Lions won Group D and will consequently face Italy in the last eight in Kiev on Sunday.
Italy are themselves four-time World Cup winners and boast a team containing the talents of the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.
But defending European and world champions Spain remain the most feared opponent and England would only now meet La Roja if they both reached Euro 2012's final.
"It has to be an advantage not to face Spain," said England boss Hodgson.
"They are the clear favourites. They won the last World Cup and European Championship and are favourites to win this one.
"We can't deny we would rather not play them.
"But I have to be very careful what I say for fear of suggesting Italy are not a very good team and worthy opponents."