Thursday May 29 2014
Prandelli tests 4-4-2 and 4-3-1-2

Cesare Prandelli reportedly tested two formations in training with Italy yesterday, including a 4-4-2 with Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli.

The 30-man provisional World Cup Azzurri squad are into a second week of training at Coverciano, ahead of the summer tournament.

Alongside training in specifically engineered conditions to help better acclimatise to the expected weather the players will face in Brazil, tactical exercises have now come into play.

Reports are that yesterday’s evening session with the group saw Prandelli try out two formations in particular, beginning with a 4-4-2 shape spearheaded by Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano in attack.

From right to left the defence was Ignazio Abate, Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Mattia De Sciglio, whilst midfield listed Marco Parolo and Claudio Marchisio either side of Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo.

A second test apparently saw Chiellini placed at left-back, Pirlo return to his traditional regista role, supported either side by De Rossi and Antonio Candreva, and Riccardo Montolivo come in at trequartista.

Attack for this 4-3-1-2 shape had Alessio Cerci and Mattia Destro tried in a partnership.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that both Balotelli and Cassano were immediately reprimanded during training when perceived by Prandelli to be not putting in maximum effort.

Training for the Milan forward, Barzagli and Gabriel Paletta continues to be adjusted due to their respective minor physical complaints.