Cole, who has 56 England caps, likes the blend of youth and experience in Roy Hodgson’s squad and is pleased to see the lack of expectation around the team.
The 32-year-old joined Villa on a two-year contract last week after being released by West Ham.
Cole played at three World Cups and knows just how the players will be feeling going into tonight’s clash with Italy.
‘It’s going to be exciting and I think we have got a great chance of doing it,” Cole said.
‘I agree with what Wayne Rooney has said – it’s the best squad England have had in years.’
‘The reason for the lower expectation is that these young players in the squad are at the start of their careers.
‘They’re not pivotal players in the big squads in the country – but they will be.
‘They’ve got a great chance and it’s perhaps their best chance as well because in four years’ time they’ll all be established and there’ll be a massive load of expectation on them.
‘For me, looking from the outside, all the stars seem to be aligning. I think they’ll do well.’