Sunday June 10 2012
Prandelli: 'Italy ready for Spain'

Cesare Prandelli confirmed Emanuele Giaccherini will start against Spain today. “We will be ready and eager to prove ourselves against the best.”

Italy begin their Euro 2012 adventure at 17.00 UK time in Gdansk with the Group C opener (see probable line-ups here).

“Don’t forget we are only talking about football, but I must admit I am as excited now as I was 22 years ago when I made my management debut on the Atalanta bench,” he told Rai Sport.

“When I said we could’ve not come to Euro 2012, sadly very few realised it was a comment set to provoke.”

Curiously, Spain have never been able to beat Italy over 90 minutes in a competitive match, sending them out of Euro 2008 on penalties.

“We are ready for today’s game and eager to prove ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.

“Don’t forget that we are Italy, so we must always be prepared. The secret will be keeping focused in defence and at the same time attacking with balance.”

Daniele De Rossi moves into the centre-back role in a 3-5-2 formation and Prandelli confirmed Giaccherini will start despite the fact he is uncapped.

“Yes, Giaccherini will be in the starting XI. I always maintain our first objective must be good football, as without that you get nowhere and certainly don’t get results.

“Antonio Cassano will do his talking on the pitch. As for Mario Balotelli, he has the talent to help us win, but we must also help him by keeping the team tight.”

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