Cesare Prandelli has hinted he would only play Ciro Immobile and Mario Balotelli together if it were forced upon him.
Borussia Dortmund forward Immobile scored a hat-trick in Italy’s friendly win over Fluminense last night, prompting calls in some quarters for him to be played alongside the Milan man, who is the Azzurri’s regular starter up front.
However, the 56-year-old today said it would be difficult to accommodate two centre-forwards in his line-up when he has so many quality midfielders.
“We have 23 players and all of them have to consider themselves starters,” Prandelli said at a Press conference when asked to discuss Immobile.
“It’s nothing new – we will choose bearing in mind the team we are playing against and the physical and mental state [of the players].
“As a pair with Balotelli? Everything is possible, but playing two central strikers when you have quality players in midfield tends to be a forced decision.”
Prandelli also said he agreed with comparisons made between Immobile and former Azzurri striker Salvatore Schillaci, who became an unlikely hero at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.
He insisted that Schillaci’s story should be a source of motivation to every member of his squad.
“I made a comparison with Schillaci because in 1990, he was considered by everyone as the fifth striker but then he became Capocanniere.
“That shows that you need to prepare mentally for every chance you have.
“There would be a lot of other examples, like Grosso in 2006. Because of this, everyone should feel important.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!