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Cesare Prandelli is of the opinion that Italy's performance in the 1-2 loss to France merited at least a draw.

The former Fiorentina and Roma coach experimented with a three-man attacking trident consisting of goalscorer Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Antonio Candreva.

Despite the changes hardly proving positive in the loss against France, Prandelli defended his decision to tinker with his tactics in search for the most suitable formation.

"We didn’t deserve to lose this, but it was right to experiment and we will experiment again," the trainer told reporters.

"We need to be ready for the [World Cup] and that means using these games to test things out. It was the first time we were trying the 4-3-3, so some movements were not going to be solid.

"The strikers did well and have different characteristics. I saw a good Italy side," the 55-year-old concluded.

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Monday, 12 November 2012 12:39

Prandelli 'surprised' by El Shaarawy form

Cesare Prandelli has admitted that he has been surprised by Stephan El Shaarawy's form for AC Milan this season ahead Italy's friendly with France on Wednesday.

The young forward has been in fine form this season, and currently leads the Serie A scoring charts with eight goals from his 11 appearances.

"El Shaarawy is a young lad who is surprising everyone," Prandelli told Rai 2. “He has been able to bring quality to football, and also done very well in terms of scoring goals."

The former Fiorentina coach went on to praise his old club for their start to the season, which has seen them rise to fourth in the table.

“Fiorentina are the big surprise of the season so far, as [coach] Vincenzo Montella has given them a style of play that is attacking, entertaining and effective.

“I am happy for everyone in Florence."

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Danielle De Rossi dropped from Azzurri list, after punching Stefano Mauri in Derby of Rome that ended 3-2 for Lazio.

Roma youngster Alessandro Flonezi called up for the first time after some good performances in u-21.

Davide Santon back to Azzurri swaud following a very good season in Newcastle.

Name Club
Goalkeepers:
Gianluigi Buffon Juventus
Morgan De Sanctis Napoli
Salvatore Sirigu Paris Saint-Germain
Emiliano Viviano Fiorentina
Defenders:
Davide Astori Cagliari
Federico Balzaretti Roma
Andrea Barzagli Juventus
Leonardo Bonucci Juventus
Giorgio Chiellini Juventus
Domenico Criscito Zenit St Petersburg
Christian Maggio Napoli
Davide Santon Newcastle
Midfielders:
Antonio Candreva Lazio
Alessandro Diamanti Bologna
Alessandro Florenzi Roma
Emanuele Giaccherini Juventus
Claudio Marchisio Juventus
Riccardo Montolivo AC Milan
Andrea Pirlo Juventus
Marco Verratti Paris Saint-Germain
Attackers:
Mario Balotelli Manchester City
Mattia Destro Roma
Stephan El Shaarawy AC Milan
Sebastian Giovinco Juventus
Pablo Osvaldo Roma
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Cesare Prandelli has defended his Italy side following criticism of their recent performance against Armenia in a number of newspapers.

The 55-year-old coach previously stated that it was a satisfying result but the Italian press felt otherwise, something which has angered Prandelli.

“The newspapers make it look as if we didn't put in a good performance, but that certainly didn't seem to be the case to me,” the coach told reporters at a press conference.

“We are coming off the back of the Euro 2012 final and because of that some people think we ought to win every match 3-0."

Midfielder Claudio Marchisio also believed that their performance was adequate and went on to suggest that the media may have underestimated the strength of the Armenia team.

"[The match] against Armenia was a very important victory," he stated.

"I'm sure the teams they play in the near future will find it difficult. Armenia is not a team that should be underestimated," Marchisio told reporters.

Italy star Mario Balotelli did not feature in the game but Prandelli has suggested that the Manchester City player could return to action sooner rather than later.

"Mario had a very strong cough in Armenia and was struggling to breathe, so he was in no condition to play. If he is in good shape today, then he will train with the others,” the Italian concluded.

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Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has warned his men not to underestimate Armenia in Friday's 2014 World Cup qualifier.

The Azzurri were held to a 2-2 draw by Bulgaria in their last qualification game, and Prandelli has stressed that they cannot afford to make the same mistakes again.

"I am waiting to see an Italy side alive to the fact that the stakes are high. We have to play at a high rhythm against Armenia in order to make the most of our qualities," Prandelli stated at a press conference.

"I'm sure we won't make the same mistakes as we did in September, but against Armenia we have to have commitment, because it will be a hard, physical encounter.

"We must respect the opposition, and play with the intensity the game deserves. Armenia are a developing football nation and shouldn't be underestimated."

Friday's encounter is scheduled to kick off at 17:00CET.

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Cesare Prandelli will use once again an ItalJuve squad against Bulgaria with a 3-5-2 formation, but he believes he's using a different tactical system from Antonio Conte's  Juventus side.

Sebastian Giovinco will wear no. 10 against Bulgaria and Malta, and will be in starting lineup beside Pablo Osvaldo, because they're more ready right now, confirms coach.

Prandelli says about Giovinco: He choose his number by himself. The players talks about this things by each other and he's a second attacker and there's no any difference between 9,10,11. Having a good game is only matter for every guy.

Prandelli added: I'm aware of everybody's think that we'll win against Bulgaria easily while always we get a better result when we are worry about games. We have a valuable experience from Euro 2012, but we have to raise ourselves again to be a unbeatable team in Europe. it will be difficult but we are trying for it.

Bulgaria are trying to remake their team as an attacking team. They are playing well on wings and perform the 4-3-3 system very good.

Probable Azzurri lineup against Bulgaria: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna; Maggio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio, Giacherini; Giovinco, Osvaldo

Patrick Tehrani

Published in News
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 20:26

Cassano not fit enough for Italy, says Prandelli

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has stressed that Inter attacker Antonio Cassano's lack of fitness was the reason behind his omission from the Azzurri squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Malta.

The flamboyant attacker was one of the stars for his country at Euro 2012, but the former Fiorentina wants him to get fully match fit first before taking him into consideration once more.

"Cassano has stated that he is only at 50 or 60 per cent at the moment," the Italy coach said at a press conference.

"This is not the moment to help players get back in shape. We must win games right from the start in order to qualify for the World Cup.

"I simply can not take any risks with players who are not in top condition right now. There is a lot at stake in these qualifiers.

"Antonio only has to make sure he gets back to 100% again and hit top form. Then I will have tactical decisions to make again."

Italy start their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign with an away match against Bulgaria on September 7.

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Italy play their first game of 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria on Friday in Sofia, and second game in Modena against Malta.

Lorenzo Insigne from Napoli called for first time, while Milan's Giampaolo Pazzini and Roma's Pablo Osvaldo back to squad to replace Cassano and Balotelli.

Goalkeepers: Buffon (Juventus), De Sanctis (Napoli), Sirigu (PSG), Viviano (Fiorentina)

Defenders: Astori (Cagliari), Balzaretti (Roma), Barzagli (Juventus), Bonucci (Juventus), Cassani (Fiorentina), Maggio (Napoli), Ogbonna (Torino)

Midfielders: De Rossi (Roma), Diamanti (Bologna), Giaccherini (Juventus), Marchisio (Juventus), Nocerino (Milan), Pirlo (Juventus), Poli (Sampdoria), Verratti (Paris St. Germain)

Forwards: Borini (Liverpool), Destro (Roma), Giovinco (Juventus), Insigne (Napoli), Osvaldo (Roma), Pazzini (Milan)

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Cesare Prandelli insists Italy must ensure their run to the Euro 2012 final was no flash in the pan by pressing on with their development.

The Azzurri proved many of their doubters wrong by reaching Sunday's final, where despite losing 4-0 to Spain, they nonetheless earned plaudits for pursuing an attacking approach throughout the tournament.

But while Prandelli is pleased with the efforts of his players in Poland and Ukraine, he has warned that they must continue to progress and not make "one step forward and two steps back".

Speaking to reporters, Prandelli said: "We must be proud of this Italy squad and our ootball. You journalists cheering me on is the sign that you are are starting believe in our project.

"We are an old country and we need to develop. The result of the final must not change our mind about change, we must not make one step forward and two steps back.

“Maybe it will be difficult, but we have to play well and get results at the same time. We must manage the national team like a club."

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Monday, 02 July 2012 08:39

Prandelli: We did the best we could

The Azzurri, who never quite reached the standard of performance set in their previous games against England and Germany, were put on the back-foot within the first 15 minutes of the game when Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas got in behind the Italian defence and pulled back to David Silva to head home from six yards out.

Things got even worse for Italy just before half-time when a defence splitting pass from Xavi found Jordi Alba's run, and he calmly slotted past Gianluigi Buffon for Spain's second of the game.

Late goals from Chelsea duo Fernando Torres and Juan Mata confirmed a rampant Spanish victory, and Prandelli believes that fatigue was a factor in his teams poor performance.

"We were not in the good condition, we had some players not fit and against Spain you have to be at your best to win" he told reporters.

"We were tired, we didn't play our football,"

Prandelli admitted that he thought winning the championship would have been a bridge too far, but insists he is already focusing about the future.

"I think this team did the best they could" he added.

"At the end of the match I said thanks to everyone for what they did in this tournament. Now we look to the future."

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