Sunday June 22 2014
Italy test Immobile-Balotelli

Italy tested a 3-5-2 system today with Ciro Immobile partnering Mario Balotelli for the clash with Uruguay.

The Azzurri need at least a point on Tuesday in Natal to secure qualification for the World Cup Round of 16.

According to the latest reports from the training session, Cesare Prandelli experimented with a new 3-5-2 formation.

The defence is imported wholesale from Juventus and, with Daniele De Rossi ruled out by a calf injury, Claudio Marchisio joined Andrea Pirlo and Marco Verratti in midfield.

It is possible Marchisio will have a slightly more advanced role, something he has already adopted at Juve on occasion.

The wing-backs were Matteo Darmian on the right and Milan’s Mattia De Sciglio, who has now recovered from a thigh problem, on the left.

The big novelty is in attack, where Torino hitman Immobile was tested alongside Balotelli for the first time.

Immobile scored 22 goals in Serie A this season, earning him the Capocannoniere title and an €18m transfer to Borussia Dortmund.

Balotelli seemed isolated and frustrated on his own against Costa Rica, so Immobile would create more space and help cause problems for the Uruguayan defence.

Italy probable: Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Darmian, Verratti, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Sciglio; Immobile, Balotelli

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