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When the Wigan 3-4-3 got rolling, they bested Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Newcastle in quick succession.
In many ways the results can be attributed to the shock factor. Most have never seen anything like it and struggle to adjust.
It leaves opponents with little time on the ball. Defenders lose composure as forwards swarm into their third. Full-backs must deal with the fact that wing-backs are suddenly storming into their rear flanks.
It takes time to adjust to this new look. And surprise is a tremendous advantage at international tournaments.
Club teams may learn to cope with each successive meeting. National teams play rarely and often get just one chance to get it right.
That is tremendous for the Nerazzurri.
There is also the added advantage of the scheme's ability to accentuate the major positive attributes of the Italians.
They are great defenders, disciplined and very creative with their passing. The 3-4-3 allows each to take precedence.
Discipline is essential. Each of the 11 players are asked to play a hybrid of numerous roles simultaneously.
Defensive solidarity is also a must. The Italians are highly composed in their own third. For that reason, they are almost never left exposed by their thin back line as other teams might be.
Finally, the constant movement between the front three, midfield two and wide full-backs allows for a myriad of passes which confound even the best of rear guards.
For these reasons, the Italians are in a great position to prosper.