Italy coach Cesare
Prandelli is planning three or four changes to his side for
their final Euro 2012 Group C match against eliminated Ireland
To progress to the last eight, the Azzurri need to win and
hope Spain or Croatia are victorious or draw 0-0 in their match.
A scoring draw in the Spain game would complicate the
mathematics of a three-way head to head.
"There will be three or four changes," Prandelli told a news
conference on Friday, the day after Italy let the lead slip in a
1-1 draw with Croatia.
"Obviously in the third game, with regards to who I pick, we
need freshness. We have no margin for error."
Striker Mario Balotelli was substituted for a second
straight game having failed to impress and Prandelli was
unusually animated when discussing the inconsistent 21-year-old.
"I shouted at him for 15 minutes to play deeper," he said.
"For me his potential is huge, but he has to do more. We are not
a team that plays on the counter-attack. He had to be told the
Antonio Di Natale could come in for Balotelli or fellow
forward Antonio Cassano, who is struggling for full match
fitness after five months out following heart surgery.
Prandelli said Di Natale was not totally suited to starting
a game alongside another striker and suggested Alessandro
Diamanti could play in the hole.
"Diamanti has the class to play as a second striker if the
team is playing high up the park," added Prandelli who thought
his side sat back too much to protect their 1-0 lead against
Croatia and should have attacked more in the second half.
Italian media, well used to match-fixing and conspiracy
theories, has gone into overdrive amid fears Spain and Croatia
could agree to a 2-2 draw which would knock Italy out even if
they beat Ireland.
An angry Prandelli rejected such talk.
"Spain will go on the field to win like they have always
done in recent years," he said.
"After all their great football, the great spectacle, the
fact everyone wants to copy their team, we think they'd think
about conspiracies? Impossible."
Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho will part company at the end of the current season
Manchester City midfielder called up to the England squad for summer friendlies
Spurs miss out on Champions League again despite highest Premier League points tally
Champions closer to matching Real Madrid's La Liga record of 100 points with 2-1 win
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010