NEWS
Monday September 10 2012
Prandelli respects Malta, defends Giovinco

Italy CT Cesare Prandelli has confirmed the Azzurri will revert to a back four in tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier against Malta.

La Nazionale appeared in a 3-5-2 system during Friday's disappointing 2-2 draw with Bulgaria, but Prandelli is planning to reintroduce the 4-3-1-2 he had such success with at Euro 2012 for the game at the Stadio Alberto Braglia.

“The people here in Modena have been wonderful, they have the ability to make us feel good.

“We will be going back to a four-man defence. Malta will only play with one striker, so it is pointless to play with three central defenders.”

Malta, coached by Italian Pietro Ghedin, are ranked 139th in the world, but Prandelli is determined not to underestimate them.

“It will not be easy to win by a lot of goals. I respect our next opponents - they are a balanced team. I would like to win by a few goals, but it is also important to find some spirit in our game.

“Perhaps against Bulgaria we should have prepared in a different way, maybe we have been working too hard. I need to learn from this experience.

“I want to see a possession game with lots of short passing. We are seeking for a numerical advantage in the middle of midfield.

The former Fiorentina tactician is expected to make several personnel changes, with Mattia Destro coming in at Sebastian Giovinco's expense.

“Destro is a modern striker. He does not have a fixed position. He can play across the entire final third.

“The only true, organic playmaker is Diamanti. The other midfielders have different interpretations of the role.

“In Bulgaria, Giovinco's performance was not as bad as some people said. He was penalized by the fact that we were slow. He has my confidence. Sooner or later his quality will emerge.”

Prandelli concluded with an assessment of the group Italy have been drawn in.

“It is a difficult group. Denmark and Czech Republic are good, positive teams, but it's too early to know if the point we got in Sofia is valuable or not.”

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