Monday November 14 2011
Italy name side to face Uruguay

Italy will start with a front two of Mario Balotelli and Pablo Daniel Osvaldo in Tuesday’s international friendly against Uruguay.

Reports as early as last Thursday suggested that the duo would be tested against the South American outfit and boss Cesare Prandelli has confirmed they will be in the first XI.

“We need to understand what types of strike partnerships we can use when necessary,” Prandelli noted on Monday afternoon.

“I want Osvaldo to find the right positioning and distance from Balotelli and the midfielders. I just want him to play in a simple manner and when we don’t have the ball I want him to work hard to win it back.

“I’m not asking him for goals as that is his job as a striker anyway.”

The Roma player, born in Argentina, will begin his first game for the Azzurri, while Balotelli will go into the tie after scoring his first Azzurro goal in the 2-0 win over Poland on Friday.

“This may be an easier game for Mario because he showed that he can make the difference in Poland,” the Coach added.

“However, it could be a more difficult game for him if he interprets it differently on a personal level.”

Italy will again start with a 4-3-1-2, but the tactician has confirmed that the shape will change after the break with the introduction of Juventus’ Simone Pepe.

“I want to use that system again because I didn’t like our first 25 minutes in Poland.

“As a result, I need to understand whether that was because we had different attackers to Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi.

“If we suffer the same issues then I’ll have to evaluate things and change. Not change players, but the way we play.”

Italy collected another impressive win last week, but Prandelli is hungry for improvements despite the victory.

“I want to start from the good things we have done recently, but which we didn’t do that well in Wroclaw.

“I want to see if there are things that need changing and this is the most significant test since I took charge of the side.”

Uruguay will contain a number of familiar faces – most notably Napoli hotshot Edinson Cavani.

“He, like Balotelli, is a modern attacker,” the Coach continued. “I remember when he scored against my Fiorentina.

“He’s improved because he has become an important example, he has maintained the same amount of generosity but is cool in front of goal.

“That is the maximum that a Coach can have.”

Prandelli has made two other changes to the team that faced Poland as Christian Maggio replaces Ignazio Abate at right-back, while Federico Balzaretti steps in for Domenico Criscito on the other flank.

Meanwhile, Gigi Buffon will join legendary ‘keeper Dino Zoff on 112 caps when he starts in goal tomorrow night.

Italy: Buffon; Maggio, Chiellini, Ranocchia, Balzaretti; Pirlo; De Rossi, Marchisio; Montolivo; Osvaldo, Balotelli.