Thursday June 13 2013
Italy to go 4-3-2-1 versus Mexico?

Italy could face Mexico on Sunday with a new shape after boss Cesare Prandelli tested a 4-3-2-1 system in training.

The tactician has been switching between a 4-3-1-2 and a 4-3-3 in recent months, but he may have something else in mind for the start of the Confederations Cup.

Prandelli is contemplating using Mario Balotelli as a lone striker, which would mean Milan teammate Stephan El Shaarawy being dropped to the bench.

In Rio on Wednesday, Prandelli fielded goalkeeper Gigi Buffon behind a back-four of Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Mattia De Sciglio.

The first line of midfielders contained Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo and Riccardo Montolivo. Claudio Marchisio and Emanuele Giaccherini were asked to support Balotelli in more advanced roles.

The doubts with such a system revolve around Chiellini and Giaccherini. Prandelli is unsure of whether to use the stopper in the middle instead of Leonardo Bonucci or as a left-back.

Giaccherini, meanwhile, is in competition with Fiorentina’s Alberto Aquilani for a starting shirt in the side.

Prandelli admitted after the 2-2 draw with Haiti on Tuesday that he is worried by the squad’s physical condition at present.

The Azzurri will also play hosts Brazil and Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan in the group stages of the competition.

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