NEWS
Monday October 3 2011
Prandelli demands Italy performance

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has asked his side to prove their worth in their final Euro 2012 qualifiers.

The Azzurri have already ensured top spot in their group, but they face Serbia on Friday and Northern Ireland on Tuesday to wrap up their campaign.

"We have two official games and we want to play them as best we can in order to give some consistency to our previous results," he stated on Monday.

"We don't want to demonstrate that we are first in the group, we want to prepare for this game as if it the first match of the Finals themselves.

"There is great curiosity. Belgrade will certainly be a hard place to go and play, but we have to put in a good display. We don't need points, but we need performances.

"I hope to see us take a step forward in terms of mentality and the desire to improve. These types of games can help form further judgements or perplexities on certain aspects."

Prandelli has decided to call on some new faces for the ties in the shape of Juve defender Andrea Barzagli and Atalanta playmaker Luca Cigarini.

"I still haven't thought about the line-up," the Coach added. "We'll try a few things in training over the next few days.

"There is a possibility of a Mario Balotelli-Antonio Cassano partnership in attack," continued the 4-3-1-2 boss.

"I don't want to change the shape of the side though. The midfield is, as far as I am concerned, the department which can offer continuity to the technical project in my mind.

"But we'll have to see whether to stick with this midfield or introduce some wide players over the course of the season."

It remains to be seen whether the tactician will find room for Sebastian Giovinco after his stunning start to the season at Parma.

"It will be an important campaign for Giovinco," the former Fiorentina tactician, who replaced Marcello Lippi after World Cup 2010, added.

"He's repaying everyone for their faith in him. He's more than just an interesting player. He's also proving to be ice cool in front of goal.

"He could be the most important player on the Italian scene over the next 12 months."

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