Wednesday March 20 2013
Prandelli still to decide Italy XI

Cesare Prandelli has refused to name his starting XI for Italy’s international friendly against Brazil on Thursday.

The tactician usually confirms his side for friendly games, but that has not been the case on Wednesday afternoon.

“I have some doubts,” he stated. “We wanted to prepare well for this game and I do not want to give the opposition any kind of advantage.

“You [media] have the privilege of watching us train so you can deduce what may be our intentions, but I won’t offer Brazil any help.

“We want to do well in the game and create this Brazil side difficulties.”

Italy are expected to use a 4-3-1-2 system that could include Juventus’ Emanuele Giaccherini instead of Milan’s Riccardo Montolivo.

“I need to assess some situations, including the physical condition and freshness of players,” he stated when asked about that possibility.

“Beyond who will play, our team will be very proactive, with good players on a technical level who can create chances.

“We are facing a great team, but we want to cause them trouble. We all want to do well.

“The Brazilian team is full of talent, with very technical players, but they can stretch the play with pace and have players, like Neymar, who can be used between the lines.”

Prandelli is also expected to give Milan left-back Mattia De Sciglio, just 20, his international debut.

“We have to take the road of renewal,” the Coach added just days after he seemed to open the door for Roma’s 36-year-old Francesco Totti.

“There are times when the difference is made by a great player, but, at this moment, the intensity and the interpretation of a game is doing that.

“We need to get to important competitions in a prepared manner. We know that we have some youngsters who could already be important to us.”

Italy and Brazil have a great footballing history and Prandelli has fond and unhappy memories of past encounters.

“The game against Brazil that I remember most? Perhaps the one from the 1982 World Cup [3-2], where there were many of my teammates.

“It was the match where we raised our game with an extraordinary team spirit despite the odds being against us.

“The match from Mexico 1970 [4-1 Final loss] lived long in the memory because of Brazil’s untouchable legends. The 1994 World Cup Final [lost on penalties] brought pain.”

Italy possible: Buffon; Maggio, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio; Giaccherini [or Montolivo]; Balotelli, Osvaldo. 

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with