NEWS
Tuesday August 26 2014
Conte to call Di Natale and Toni?

Antonio Conte’s first Italy squad may include veterans Antonio Di Natale and Luca Toni, whilst other possible selections for the new CT also emerge.

The 45-year-old is due to name a first Azzurri squad since signing a two-year deal with the Italian Football Federation to replace Cesare Prandelli.

Conte, who left Juventus earlier this summer, will announce his selection on Saturday evening, for a friendly with the Netherlands and the start of Euro 2016 qualifying with Norway.

The Gazzetta dello Sport report that age is not going to be a guiding factor in the CT’s decisions and that it could mean the likes of Antonio Di Natale and Luca Toni come into consideration in attack.

Giuseppe Rossi looks almost certain to miss the squad so as to fully recover from a minor knee injury, whilst Stephan El Shaarawy remains in contention and Lorenzo Insigne ‘must convince’.

In goal, it is speculated that Conte will list Gigi Buffon as No 1, and Salvatore Sirigu as first back-up, but not call up Simone Scuffet just yet, instead choosing between Mattia Perin and Federico Marchetti.

In defence, in the absence of Andrea Barzagli, Conte is reportedly considering including Daniele De Rossi in his back-line plans, whilst Davide Astori and Gabriel Paletta are also set for evaluation.

Matteo Darmian and Mattia De Sciglio are seen as certainties to take full-back roles, while Manuel Pasqual may return to the set-up, amid supposed competition with Ignazio Abate and Giulio Donati.

Midfield also looks set to see a number of changes, in part due to doubts over Andrea Pirlo’s condition, having picked up a knock in training this week.

Alessandro Florenzi, Alberto Aquilani, Andrea Poli and Marco Parolo are all seen as likely to be called up, whilst Roberto Soriano of Sampdoria may also be a surprise inclusion.

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