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Prandelli calls for professional display

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says a narrow win over Malta in their World Cup qualification match on Tuesday would be more than satisfactory.

The 2006 World Cup winners top Group B, while Malta sit last and were thumped 6-0 by Bulgaria on Friday.

Nevertheless, the Italian is aware of the embarrassment their opponents could cause if his side do not respect them and insists the points are important, not the winning margin.

“Malta simply are very well organised and don’t leave much space,” Prandelli told reporters.

“Would I be happy with a 1-0? It depends on how we go about securing it. The points are what matter right now. But I’m convinced that you get results by playing well.

“Malta are like a club with players who train three times a week. We will find a well organised team that knows how to double and intercept.

“I hope we create as many chances as we did against Brazil.

“To get six points from our next two games – Malta and the Czech Republic – would be of fundamental importance in terms of qualification.”

Prandelli said that Emanuele Giaccherini has not reached his full fitness yet after suffering from a fever, and will not make his decision on who to play until the last minute.

“I have a doubt over who to select between Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessio Cerci and I won’t decide until tomorrow, 30 minutes until kick-off,” he said.

Mon 25 March, 2013
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