Saturday November 12 2011
Balotelli to start with Uruguay

Cesare Prandelli has hinted Mario Balotelli will start against Uruguay as well on Tuesday. “I’ll evaluate the situation.”

The Manchester City striker scored his first senior Italy goal in Friday’s 2-0 win away to Poland and provided an assist for Giampaolo Pazzini.

“I’ll evaluate the situation,” said the Coach. “The idea is to use Balotelli again. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo? He can play, as he has the same chances as the others.

“Balotelli is an atypical, modern striker, as he can play both on the wing and as a centre-forward. If he plays alongside Pazzini, Osvaldo or Alessandro Matri, it changes little.

“It would’ve been very interesting to see him partnered by Sebastian Giovinco.”

That cannot happen against Uruguay at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, as Parma star Giovinco pulled out with an injury.

Prandelli has lost Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi for six months, so tested both the 4-3-1-2 and a 4-3-3 in Poland last night.

“The second half gave me a few doubts over the system, as we interpreted the game better after the break, whereas we didn’t have much of an initiative in the first half.

“I’d been tracking Ignazio Abate for a long time and he is giving strong responses. We have to work more with him and make more of his characteristics, which we didn’t do when Simone Pepe came off the bench.

“I hope there will be a wonderful atmosphere and a warm welcome for the Nazionale on Tuesday, as we are facing one of the strongest sides in the world.”

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