Cesare Prandelli reportedly faces World Cup picks between Giuseppe Rossi and Mattia Destro, and then Marco Parolo, Alberto Aquilani and Marco Verratti.
The Azzurri are back in training today for a second week of training at Coverciano, as part of World Cup preparations that include next Saturday’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland in London.
On from that fixture, Prandelli will have to submit by Monday June 2 a final 23-man squad for Brazil 2014, cutting seven players from his current selection, alongside reserve goalkeeper Antonio Mirante.
The Gazzetta dello Sport have run through the doubts still in the CT’s mind and indicate every department is still providing a headache.
Specifically in defence, it is speculated that Prandelli will be looking to choose between full-backs Mattia Darmian, Ignazio Abate and Christian Maggio for two positions in the final squad. It is believed that Darmian’s better physical conditioning presents him with the best advantage.
Andrea Ranocchia and Manuel Pasqual are expected to be left out of the selection altogether, with Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Mattia De Sciglio and Gabriel Paletta the certainties to make the squad.
Midfield certainties are seen as Andrea Pirlo, Thiago Motta, Daniele De Rossi, Claudio Marchisio, Riccardo Montolivo and Antonio Candreva, whilst Romulo is speculated as with a strong chance of also making it.
The Brazilian born utility man’s inclusion would mean that one shirt in midfield would remain up for grabs between Alberto Aquilani, Marco Verratti and Marco Parolo, with the Parma man seen as with the advantage.
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the biggest doubts in attack centre on Giuseppe Rossi, who is now seen as in a direct run-off for a place with Roma’s Mattia Destro.
Lorenzo Insigne’s hopes are seen as diminishing, whilst Mario Balotelli, Ciro Immobile, Alessio Cerci and Antonio Cassano are believed to have secure places in Prandelli’s final 23.
Speculated final Italy World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain)
Defenders: Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Ignazio Abate (Milan)
Midfielders: Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Riccardo Montolivo (Milan), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Romulo (Verona), Marco Parolo (Parma),
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina)
Cut: Antonio Mirante (Parma - reserve ‘keeper), Christian Maggio (Napoli), Andrea Ranocchia (Inter), Manuel Pasqual (Fiorentina), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Mattia Destro (Roma), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)