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Prandelli finalising Italy plans

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 31 May 2012

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Italy manager Cesare Prandelli says he will use Friday’s friendly international with Russia to finalise his tactical line-up for Euro 2012.

After the postponement of a match against Luxembourg because of an earthquake in Italy earlier this week, Prandelli is short on time to put his ideas onto the pitch.

“The two friendly matches would have been useful to have a general idea of the possible tactical solutions, because friendly matches mean something if you use them for tactical reasons, from the physical point of view I prefer to work alone with the team,” Prandelli said.

“I would have liked to try tactical solutions and try to play with three forwards. Now we remain with only one game and we’ll try two different tactical solutions tomorrow, one in the first and one in the second half.”

At least 15 people were killed when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake hit northern Italy and Prandelli boss believes it was impossible to play the match in such circumstances.

“It was unthinkable to play that match, in respect for those people, it was unthinkable to propose a show and have fun when 20 kilometres away there were people suffering,” he said.

“When you hear desperate people launching appeals and the people responsible for those towns asking not to abandon them, our first thought was we couldn’t abandon them and we won’t, we’re thinking of some initiatives to help these people.”

Giorgio Chiellini is currently recovering from a thigh strain, while Palermo defender Federico Balzaretti is struggling with injury.

But when quizzed about using the Juventus trio of Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci in a back three, Prandelli reiterated his belief that it could be done.

“As I’ve already said, a three-man defence could be an arm in some particular moment, but the three players should necessarily be the Juventus players, because they know it by heart,” the former Fiorentina boss said.

“At the moment though, I only have two-and-a-half of them ready for that solution, so we haven’t tried it yet.

“I wish I can use it and I don’t think we need to try that system too much, seeing the three players know how to do it very well, they’ve played with that system in the last 12 months with Juventus.

“We tried to make the other players understand that if we decide to use a three-man defence, they have to shift their position onto the pitch.”

Prandelli also stated he would do all he could to protect Mario Balotelli from racist chants in Poland and Ukraine.

“If I happen to hear people booing Mario (Balotelli) or insulting him in any way we would do something to defend him, like going all onto the pitch from the bench in sign of protest.”

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