Sunday March 24 2013
Azzurri adopt 4-3-3 in Malta

Italy’s training session today suggested a 4-3-3 system against Malta with Alessio Cerci, Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Azzurri travel to Malta for a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday evening and continued their preparations at the Coverciano training ground.

This morning they worked mainly in the gym, while this afternoon there was tactical work and a game between ranks.

Coach Cesare Prandelli appears to be going for a 4-3-3 system – the kind used in the second half of the 2-2 draw with Brazil.

Ignazio Abate and Claudio Marchisio have shaken off fitness problems to start, while Torino winger Cerci would get his first senior Italy start after making his debut as a substitute on Thursday.

El Shaarawy would also start alongside his Milan teammate Balotelli.

This line-up would have five Juventus players, five from Milan and Cerci the only outsider from Torino.

Daniele De Rossi and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo have already left the camp as they are suspended in the World Cup qualifier, so Alessandro Florenzi was promoted from the Under-21 side.

Italy probable (4-3-3): Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Sciglio; Pirlo, Montolivo, Marchisio; Cerci, Balotelli, El Shaarawy