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Prandelli set to experiment against Nigeria

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli may experiment with his side to face Nigeria in a friendly on Monday, given his short preparation time.

Prandelli’s men played Germany on Friday, earning a 1-1 draw in Milan, before heading to London ahead of their battle against Nigeria at Craven Cottage.

Prandelli rued the closeness of international matches, claiming it forced him to experiment with the side.

“I perform many experiments because I haven’t got much time. I’m not saying it’s a problem that we don’t have training camps, but it is a fact,” he said.

“If I’d had more time then I wouldn’t have needed to call so many players and we wouldn’t have run into some embarrassing results. It’s not club coaches who are the problem, but the fixture list and the directors.

“The truth is that right now everyone is thinking about Serie A or the Champions League, but come June they will all be huge Italy fans. I’d like a little more enthusiasm around us now.”

Prandelli also called on Serie A clubs to show more interest in the fate of the national side.

“When we played the first match of qualifying there was only one club president who came over to watch the match, and he was a friend of mine, the Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi,” he said.

On their set up to tackle Nigeria, Prandelli said Giuseppe Rossi would return from tonsillitis, although Mario Balotelli, Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele De Rossi all need to be assessed.

Fiorentina forward Rossi can sew up the second striker spot behind Balotelli against Nigeria, with the Serie A leading scorer fit again.

“I have some pretty clear ideas on the systems, even if we have to establish which is the best one,” Prandelli said.

“Balotelli is the first choice centre-forward, but now we have to find out who is the ideal second striker.”

Mon 18 November, 2013
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