Wednesday June 26 2013
Prandelli: 'Italy can trouble Spain'

Cesare Prandelli is confident Italy “have the weapons to make life difficult for Spain” and confirmed Alberto Gilardino will start.

The Confederations Cup semi-final is in Fortaleza on Thursday at 20.00 UK time (19.00 GMT). The winners will go on to face Brazil in Sunday’s Final, while the losers take on Uruguay for third place.

“I repeat what I told my players 20 minutes ago,” said the Coach at the start of his Press conference.

“In my time in charge of Italy we have faced Spain three times. We won in a friendly in Bari, then drew in the Euro 2012 group phase and lost the Final in Kiev.

“We have the utmost respect for them, but we have the weapons to make life difficult for Spain. We need courage and character.”

Prandelli would not confirm the change to a 3-4-2-1 system, but did hint at a transformation.

“We need to take our opponents into consideration. The fact that we are changing doesn’t mean we are struggling, but just that we have some new ideas. There is no perfect system that gives you the certainty of beating Spain.

“We know they will keep possession, but we have to play the way we did in the second half against Brazil. That is how we will stay in the game.

“Spain play with strikers who do not give reference points and attack the space. We play in an attacking manner because we have quality players, not because we take inspiration from Spain.”

The Azzurri are without Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate, but have Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi back after they missed the 4-2 defeat to Brazil.

“Gilardino will play in Balotelli’s place. He is a reliable player and he knows how to score goals. It’s a shame Mario is out, as he really wanted to be there.

“We may lose out in terms of individual quality, but we can improve in terms of overall quality of football.

“We need positive thinking and that is one of the reasons why my team has a soul. Against Brazil, even 3-1 down in a stadium full of yellow shirts, we were able to scare the Seleçao.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with