NEWS
Thursday June 2 2011
Prandelli tests 4-3-1-2 Italy

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli persisted with a 4-3-1-2 during the national side's final training session at Coverciano.

The Azzurri take on Estonia in Modena tomorrow night and Prandelli tested a different starting XI today to the one he experimented with on Wednesday.

Juventus 'keeper Gigi Buffon was handed the gloves behind a defence consisting of Mattia Cassani, Andrea Ranocchia, Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Balzaretti.

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NEWS
Thursday June 2 2011
Cassano-Rossi to lead Italy

Italy will face Estonia in Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier without a recognised centre-forward, boss Cesare Prandelli has confirmed.

The tactician has named his side for the Modena tie, but there is no target man despite the presence of Alberto Gilardino, Alessandro Matri and Giampaolo Pazzini in the squad.

"Buffon will be in goal, then Maggio, Ranocchia if he is fit – otherwise it will be Gamberini – Chiellini, Balzaretti, Pirlo, Montolivo, Marchisio, Aquilani, Cassano and Rossi," Prandelli revealed.

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BLOG ITALIA
Thursday June 2 2011
The Outsider

He's wanted by the world's best team, but Giuseppe Rossi isn't a regular starter for Italy just yet. Scott Fleming wonders why

He scored 18 goals in La Liga this season and is Barcelona's No 1 transfer target, with the newly crowned champions of Europe reportedly willing to part with €30m to secure his services. However, Giuseppe Rossi's place in Italy's first XI is far from assured.

If, as expected, he starts tomorrow night's qualifier against Estonia in Modena, it will be his 12th Azzurri start, and only his fifth in competitive circumstances. Italy has always had a slightly awkward relationship with its adopted son, never quite sure what to make of the kid from New Jersey.

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NEWS
Wednesday June 1 2011
Injured Balotelli leaves Azzurri

Mario Balotelli has withdrawn from the Italy squad after injury ruled him out of Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier with Estonia.

The Manchester City player picked up a knee problem in a practice match yesterday just 13 minutes into the game.

After undergoing a series of tests, the former Inter player has left the Azzurri's training base in Coverciano.

"He wouldn't have recovered in time for Friday's game," team doctor Enrico Castellacci noted this morning.

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NEWS
Wednesday June 1 2011
Giovinco or Aquilani for Estonia?

Italy have tested out a 4-3-1-2 system for Friday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia, but will Sebastian Giovinco or Alberto Aquilani start?

Cesare Prandelli continued his training sessions at the Coverciano camp ahead of the Friday evening match in Modena.

Once again, the system adopted was 4-3-1-2, although the names of the starting XI remain uncertain.

Christian Maggio, Andrea Ranocchia, Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Balzaretti made up the defence.

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NEWS
Tuesday May 31 2011
Balotelli injury scare for Italy

Mario Balotelli is “unlikely to recover” from a knee injury in time for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Estonia, said Italy medical staff.

The Manchester City striker lasted only 13 minutes of today's test match with Italy's Under-18 side when he limped off with a right knee problem.

“Balotelli suffered a relapse of the pain in the right knee that had already troubled him in the past,” explained Professor Enrico Castellacci.

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NEWS
Tuesday May 31 2011
Maggio applauds Prandelli stance

Christian Maggio applauds Italy boss Cesare Prandelli's approach of calling only those who play regularly.

“Prandelli is absolutely right, as only by performing to a high standard regularly for your club can you earn the right to be called up for international duty,” said the Napoli winger.

“This is why I think I will always choose a team that allows me to play regularly, otherwise I'd miss out on opportunities like this.”

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NEWS
Monday May 30 2011
Prandelli wary of Estonia tie

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has surprisingly labelled Friday's game against Estonia as his toughest test since taking charge.

Although Estonia are considered as minnows of the world game, the Azzurri boss fears that his side may struggle at the end of a long season.

"This is the most difficult game of my tenure," he noted at Coverciano on Monday. "The game against Estonia will be decisive.

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NEWS
Saturday May 28 2011
De Rossi: 'I'm done with elbows'

Daniele De Rossi has promised “I am done with elbows” after another ban that froze him out of the Italy squad.

The Roma midfielder was suspended for the final three games of the Serie A season after using his elbow on an opponent.

As a result, Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli dropped him for breaking the code of ethics ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier with Estonia next Friday and the friendly against the Republic of Ireland.

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NEWS
Friday May 27 2011
Azzurri undergo medicals

Cesare Prandelli's Italy squad are coming together tonight for medical and athletic tests ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier.

The Azzurri do not play until Friday June 3 in their qualifier against Estonia, then a friendly with Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland on Tuesday June 7.

All the players called by Coach Prandelli, except those involved in Sunday night's Inter-Palermo Coppa Italia Final, are gathering at the Coverciano training ground.

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