Wednesday June 13 2012
Prandelli: 'Changes for Croatia'

Cesare Prandelli said he has “just one doubt” on who to field against Croatia tomorrow, but refused to confirm or deny whether Mario Balotelli risked the chop.

Italy drew 1-1 with Spain and there have been numerous rumours as to changes for the second Group C match at 17.00 UK time in Poznan.

These include Antonio Nocerino in for Thiago Motta, Federico Balzaretti replacing Emanuele Giaccherini and Antonio Di Natale stepping in for Balotelli.

“I am thinking of a few changes and I will only make a decision at the last minute. I don’t want to give anyone an advantage by making our approach clear,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I have just one doubt. Is it Balotelli? Are there are any other questions...? In any case, I have seen Mario training with more concentration than usual.

“I don’t want to say we are playing a certain way to then change 10 minutes later, so all I’ll say is that we have prepared well for this match.”

Croatia are currently top of Group C after beating the Republic of Ireland 3-1 and Slaven Bilic claimed today that Luka Modric is better than Andrea Pirlo.

“In order to be great, you must win important trophies first,” replied Prandelli.

“Croatia play in a different manner to Spain. Against the Roja we had to contain them first of all, whereas with the Croatians we must take the initiative.

“In every match there is the chance to make three substitutions and those who come off the bench have to make the difference.”

Prandelli was also asked about the controversy that exploded after Antonio Cassano’s homophobic comments in yesterday’s Press conference.

“When I read his statements, I thought ‘we really are wandering into every trap door.’ We can discuss the issue of Cassano and homosexuality on another day, but not today.

“Antonio gave 100 per cent against Spain and did what I asked. That’s the important thing right now.”

Prandelli wrote a foreword to a book on homosexuality in sport urging athletes to come out of the closet.

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