Monday October 10 2011
Prandelli: 'Juve would mature Gio'

Cesare Prandelli has dismissed Sebastian Giovinco's height as a barrier to his progression, whilst suggesting he could benefit from a return to Juventus.

The Italy Coach was speaking at Monday evening's news conference where he confirmed the probable starting XI to face Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening.

In the team's final Group C qualifying match for the 2012 European Championships, Prandelli confirmed 5ft4 Giovinco will start in attack with Antonio Cassano and dismissed concerns that his stature will stunt his career aspirations.

The former Fiorentina boss also suggested a return to Juventus, who hold 50 per cent of the Parma player's registration, would benefit the attacker.

"For me, his height has never been a problem. If a player arrives with those physical characteristics in Seire A, it is with a determination that they can climb mountains.

"If he were to return to Juventus, he would mature as a player.

"He started the season very well and is growing well from many points of view, he is working as a complete striker.

"It is fair not only to reward him but also to figure out where we can improve in terms of attackers. His problems so far have been caused by a lack of a defined role. Now that we know he is a second striker, we can exploit this."

Prandelli was less confident of confirming Pablo Daniel Osvaldo's involvement from the bench for his first cap.

"Let's see, we are evaluating everything. Whoever is on the bench must be mentally ready to play."

The game against Northern Ireland is being hosted at the Stadio Adriatico, home to Zdenek Zeman's Pescara team. Prandelli closed his news conference in acknowledgement of his colleague.

"I think highly of him. If you decide to go and see a game where you buy the ticket, I would go to see a team coached by Zeman."

Prandelli confirmed the players likely to start the game against Nigel Worthington's team.

Probably Italy starting line-up: Buffon; Cassani, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti; Montolivo, De Rossi, Pirlo; Aquilani; Cassano, Giovinco