Cesare Maldini casts doubt on Cesare Prandelli’s tactics for Uruguay: “I do not believe a three-man defence could stop Suarez and Cavani.”
Italy head into World Cup Group D’s closing fixture in Natal this afternoon knowing that a win or a draw will be enough for them to advance to the knockout stages.
For the test, Prandelli is expected to switch tactics to a 3-5-2 system, running with a Juventus back-three and Mario Balotelli in attack with most likely Ciro Immobile.
However, one former CT believes that it may be two mistakes too many in anticipation of what Uruguay will demand of the team.
“Italy have not done great things, but I hope that in the next game they can improve,” Maldini has begun this week on Radio Crc.
“Against Uruguay it will be a very difficult match, especially in a physical context. The South Americans are very tough and also, Uruguay are technically strong and have a mischievous side.
“I do not believe that a three-man defence could stop [Luis] Suarez and [Edinson] Cavani. But, Prandelli is a better judge than me.
“Balotelli as a lone striker is fine, but then there needs to be wide attackers to help him.
“Immobile and Balotelli are two strikers who do not have in their instinct to cover and run back. Both remain in attack and wait for the right pass.”
Maldini, who took Italy to the 1998 World Cup, considered who is in contention to win the tournament this summer.
“There are several European teams and also the South Americans. Everybody is trying to make a good World Cup and many are hoping to get to the final.
“The Netherlands have always been a good team. I hope that Italy will reach the final. To me, Italy are a good team, but not a great team.
“Certainly they will improve, because slowly they are beginning to understand the Coach.”