Thursday June 13 2013
El Shaarawy skips training

Stephan El Shaarawy skipped training today as Italy tested out a 4-3-2-1 system ahead of the Mexico match.

The Azzurri begin their Confederations Cup campaign on Sunday evening against Mexico at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT) before taking on Japan and Brazil.

Milan forward El Shaarawy did not take part in today’s training session in Rio de Janeiro, as he was suffering from a slight muscular problem. He is expected to be fit for tomorrow.

Coach Cesare Prandelli experimented with the 4-3-2-1 system, using Mario Balotelli as the lone centre-forward.

Mattia De Sciglio and Emanuele Giaccherini were surprisingly tested in the starting XI, while Leonardo Bonucci and Alberto Aquilani were used in the reserve team in the game between ranks.

Juventus duo Giaccherini and Claudio Marchisio took the advanced roles in support of Balotelli, leaving Riccardo Montolivo to a deeper role with Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.

Italy probable against Mexico: Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo; Marchisio, Giaccherini; Balotelli