Saturday June 16 2012
How will Italy approach Ireland?

Cesare Prandelli confirmed he’ll consider three or four changes against Ireland, so the Italian media consider the options.

Italy have notched up two 1-1 draws in Euro 2012 against Spain and Croatia, but even a victory in Monday’s final Group C match might not be enough for qualification.

The Coach said he was considering “three or four changes, as I need fresh legs” for the meeting with Giovanni Trapattoni’s already-eliminated Ireland.

Prandelli also confirmed he is sticking with the 3-5-2 system that has Daniele De Rossi in central defence, although Andrea Barzagli has now recovered from a calf strain and could step in, returning the Roma midfielder to his natural position.

It would also enable the Azzurri to count on an all-Juventus back line with Gigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci.

The midfield is where more changes are expected, as Thiago Motta and Emanuele Giaccherini are likely to be heading for the bench.

Antonio Nocerino provides a grittier presence in place of Motta, while Riccardo Montolivo or outside bet Alessandro Diamanti would lend more creativity.

Both Christian Maggio and Giaccherini haven’t done enough to make their positions solid, so Federico Balzaretti and Ignazio Abate are hoping to be given a chance.

In attack Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli have borne the brunt of the criticism for Italy’s performances so far in this tournament, having failed to score a single goal between them.

Antonio Di Natale is eager to be given a starting role, especially after netting against Spain, but it’s believed Prandelli still sees him as more of a super-sub.

Other alternatives include Roma’s youngster Fabio Borini and Parma talent Sebastian Giovinco, who has come on twice as a substitute.

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