Italy boss Cesare Prandelli says he’ll be forced to try some new attacking solutions while waiting for Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi to return.
The Milan man is currently recovering from a minor heart operation, while the Villarreal striker recently underwent knee ligament surgery. Both could be sidelined for six months.
“I went to see Cassano and he told me that he’d like to say hello to everybody,” the tactician said at Coverciano today.
“He is calm and motivated to return. I just wanted to say that we miss him. We noticed today that there is a different atmosphere without him.
“Antonio really feels for the Azzurri shirt. We’ll follow his recovery closely, even before he returns to action. We all hope to have him ready for Euro 2012.
“Rossi’s situation is different to Cassano,” the tactician added. “If Giuseppe is in good shape before the championship then he’ll be there, otherwise we’ll have to develop play in another way.
“I don’t want to give any reference points to our opposition and that is why I haven’t called up any pure centre-forwards.”
Prandelli has picked Manchester City ace Mario Balotelli, Roma’s Daniel Osvaldo, Giampaolo Pazzini of Inter and Juve’s Alessandro Matri.
Parma’s Sebastian Giovinco was also selected, but he’s been sent home because of injury.
“We can’t just look for new players with the qualities of Antonio and Rossi,” the former Fiorentina man continued.
“We have to take a new road ahead of Euro 2012. We have to create a style of play with modern attackers.
“Giovinco has returned home today, but we have Simone Pepe [of Juventus] who could allow us to change our shape tactically.”
The various injuries should now offer Balotelli the chance to make a claim for a regular starting shirt ahead of next summer.
“Balotelli has an opportunity to show his worth, but I don’t want to place too much responsibility on him. All of the attackers that we have can play together.”
One striker not included in the latest party is Udinese’s Antonio Di Natale, who again leads the scoring charts in Serie A.
“Di Natale is a player who is doing very well, but he is 34 and I have to give some consistency to our rejuvenation by focusing on players who are 25 or 26.
“Then if by March Di Natale has scored 25 goals I’ll call him up. It’s easy to integrate a player like Di Natale – he has quality and the experience to fit in easily with the national side.”
Italy play Poland on Friday before hosting Uruguay next week.
“These friendlies will be useful for us in terms of developing our brand of football. We have four attackers who can play in various assortments.
“They are all attackers and not just strikers. We have Pepe too who can allow us to play with a 4-3-3 or in midfield as he did with Udinese.
“Poland will be an important test for us. They have some interesting players and an important project behind them. I want us to play with the spirit that we will have at Euro 2012.”