GENOA - Milos Krasic will find only
foes when faltering Serbia visit Italy on Tuesday with even his
Juventus team-mates saying they will give the flying winger a
'whack' if the situation demands.
A rare shining light in Serbia's shock 3-1 home defeat by
Estonia on Friday, recent Juve buy Krasic will come up against
club friend but defensive tough nut Giorgio Chiellini in the
Euro 2012 Group C qualifying match in Genoa.
"We hope he gets a cold," Chiellini, back to form after
suffering during the Azzurri's woeful World Cup, told reporters.
"Juve coach Luigi Del Neri has told us Juventus players to
show some caution when we meet him because Juve need him. But if
I need to give him a whack, I won't stop myself."
Krasic could face two Juve centre-backs if Leonardo Bonucci
recovers from a blow to the foot sustained in Friday's patchy
0-0 draw in Northern Ireland, which still kept Italy top of the
group with seven points from three games given Serbia's defeat.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli could give Palermo's Cesare
Bovo his first cap if Bonucci is not fit but is unlikely to
radically alter Friday's side despite the lack of cutting edge,
with Marco Borriello hoping to cling on to the striker's jersey.
"To score we need a bit more nastiness, which we're lacking.
But I've seen a squad with personality," Prandelli said.
"We meet a wounded team and I would have preferred it wasn't
like that, Serbia's defeat makes the game more complicated. But
the plan is not to make substantial changes."
Serbia, who lie fourth with four points from three games,
have bigger problems with centre back Nemanja Vidic suspended
after picking up a second yellow card in the Estonia loss.
Coach Vladimir Petrovic, who suffered a baptism of fire in
his first game in charge after taking over from Radomir Antic
last month, said he would inject fresh blood into the side.
"We'll have to reshuffle and we'll go to Italy confident and
with our heads up as it's the only way to bounce back," he said.
Krasic, who has worried Italian defences with his direct
running during his two months in Serie A, agreed with his coach.
"We are up against a top level team and unless we are fully
focused on the task ahead, we have no chance of getting
something out of that game," the blond midfielder said.
"We are still a good team and I am certain we will raise our
game to the best of our abilities for the Italians."
Captain Dejan Stankovic, who has spent 12 years in Italian
football with Lazio and present club Inter Milan, added: "We had
a very bad day against the Estonians but when the going gets
tough, the tough get going and that's what we have to do."
Zoran Tosic could start on the left wing instead of Milan
Jovanovic while Ivan Obradovic should fill the left back slot
instead of Marko Lomic, who struggled on Friday.
Italy: Emiliano Viviano; Mattia Cassani, Cesare Bovo,
Giorgio Chiellini, Domenico Criscito; Daniele De Rossi, Andrea
Pirlo, Stefano Mauri; Simone Pepe, Marco Borriello, Antonio
Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Neven
Subotic, Aleksandar Lukovic, Ivan Obradovic; Milos Krasic, Dejan
Stankovic, Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Zoran Tosic; Nikola Zigic, Danko
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