Tuesday February 5 2013
Italy friendlies key, says Prandelli

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has underlined how important international friendlies are ahead of Wednesday’s test against Holland.

Non-competitive Azzurri matches can be tedious affairs, but the tactician insists they are vital – especially with this summer’s Confederations Cup on the horizon.

“Up until now, the friendlies have been of great use to us despite the fact that results haven’t been positive,” he stated on Tuesday.

“They’ve allowed us to test a few things which may have been risky, but allowed us to experiment ahead of the Confederations Cup.

“We’re working with that competition in mind. The plan will pretty much be along the same lines as the one which we worked on ahead of the European Championship.

“At the end of the season, after a few days’ break, we will be back at Coverciano. These games need to give me the responses I am looking for so that we are fully prepared for when we arrive in Brazil.”

Italy have lost their last five friendly games with Prandelli in charge after defeats to Uruguay, USA, Russia, England and France.

“Holland are a renewed side, a young one that already has an identity,” the former Fiorentina boss continued.

“They’ll want to prove their worth. They’ll work hard and won’t lower their guard for 90 minutes as they want to win. We will have to do the same.”

Prandelli has confirmed who will start in his 4-3-3, although he still has to decide whether to use Antonio Candreva of Lazio or Bologna’s Alessandro Diamanti.

“I have just one doubt and that is whether to play Candreva or Diamanti on the right. It will depend on whether Candreva has fully recovered from his illness and on how Holland will line-up.”

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