NEWS
Saturday March 26 2011
No fractures for Pazzini

Tests excluded fractures, so Giampaolo Pazzini stays with the Italy squad, as Cesare Prandelli confirms he won't call any new players for Ukraine.

Striker Pazzini was taken to hospital for x-rays on his left wrist this afternoon, having picked up a knock during last night's 1-0 win over Slovenia.

Fractures were excluded and the Inter forward will therefore remain with the squad for Tuesday's friendly in Kiev.

There were reports that Prandelli would call in Mario Balotelli for this game, as he had been dropped for the Euro 2012 qualifier.

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NEWS
Saturday March 26 2011
Prandelli: 'Oriundi future of Italy'

The day after the victory in Slovenia, Cesare Prandelli notes his Italy project is progressing and Oriundi like Thiago Motta “are the future of the Azzurri.”

The 1-0 result in Ljubljana put them six points clear at the top of Euro 2012 qualifying Group C.

“Things have been positive and I'm happy that right from the start we showed the players the fun of playing football,” said the Coach.

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NEWS
Saturday March 26 2011
Chiellini: 'Italy's turning point'

Giorgio Chiellini believes Italy reached “a turning point” in Cesare Prandelli's reign with their victory in Slovenia.

“We knew this was a turning point in our growth and improvement. We realised that the friendly with Germany was a huge boost in confidence and showed us what we can do,” he said of last night's 1-0 win in Ljubljana.

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BLOG ITALIA
Friday March 25 2011
Santon call a show of faith

Having played more games for Italy than his current club side Cesena, Davide Santon's inclusion in the national set-up is an intriguing one, says Rob Paton

Davide Santon's flirtation with the very top of Italian football at one stage threatened to be as brief as his rise there rapid. However, in Cesare Prandelli's public show of support, Italy welcomes back its most promising full-back, still ahead of schedule.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Pazzini trusts in Cassano

Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini is confident that his former Sampdoria teammate Antonio Cassano can help end his scoring drought at international level.

The 26-year-old has found the net just once in 15 games for his country and needs to translate his club form into goals for Italy.

"I am not saying that I lack a goal, but I have the desire the score another.

"Pressure? There is no pressure, but I care about scoring again for Italy. Also because it's a great period for me and I don't want to stop now.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Kek: Slovenia have an advantage

Slovenia boss Matjaz Kek believes his side will have an advantage when they meet Italy tonight because his players know Serie A very well.

Italy can take a big step towards qualifying for Euro 2012 with a win in Ljubljana, but past results suggest it won't be easy for Cesare Prandelli.

"People who think Italy are no longer a super power in football are wrong," said Kek. "Many Slovenes are convinced that it will be an easy game. That's a mistake.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Prandelli will help Balotelli

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has promised to help Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

The 20-year-old was left out of the latest Italy squad after his sending off against Dynamo Kiev.

Prandelli has implemented a new ethical code, which all players have to respect.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi was also excluded following his ban for violent conduct after throwing an elbow at Shakhtar Donetsk full-back Darijo Srna.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Parolo out of Slovenia match

Debutant Marco Parolo will not even be on the bench tonight, as Italy released squad numbers for the game with Slovenia.

UEFA have a limit of 23 shirt numbers per official match, so Coach Cesare Prandelli had to cut Cesena man Parolo from his side for the Euro 2012 qualifier.

Thiago Motta takes over the number 5 that is usually worn by Daniele De Rossi, here frozen out after breaking the code of ethics with a ban for violent conduct at Roma.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Line-ups: Pazzini-Cassano lead Italy

Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini start in Italy's Euro 2012 qualifier against Slovenia, who field several Serie A players.

The Azzurri are without Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli, who were dropped after breaking the code of ethics by picking up bans for violent conduct on club duty.

Italy currently top Group C with 10 points, but a defeat in Ljubljana would put Slovenia level with them.

Cesare Prandelli fields a 4-3-1-2 system with Christian Maggio, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Balzaretti in defence.

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NEWS
Friday March 25 2011
Prandelli: 'Call us a Serie B side...'

Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli hit back at the critics after conquering Ljubljana. “When they call us a Serie B side, it just motivates us even more.”

The Azzurri earned a 1-0 victory in Slovenia that puts them six points clear at the top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group, as Serbia beat Northern Ireland 2-1.

“People said we were a Serie B side, but that just helps motivate us even more,” smiled the tactician.

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