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Prandelli sweats on injured stars

SoccerNews in European Championships 28 Jun 2012

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will make a late decision on his starting line-up for Thursday’s Euro 2012 semi-final clash with Germany.

The Italian team have had two days’ less rest than Germany since their quarter-final matches and the Azzurri’s preparation has been far from ideal, with the likes of Daniele De Rossi, Giorgio Chiellini and Antonio Cassano all doubts for the game.

History is in Italy’s favour – from the ‘match of the century’ in 1970 to the World Cup semi-final in 2006 – as they have never lost to Germany in seven encounters at major tournaments.

Germany, however, come in to the clash in fine form and are favourites to book a place in the final against Spain, who beat Portugal in a dramatic penalty shootout on Wednesday.

Prandelli will order his Italy players to play with the same conviction they showed against England in the quarter-finals, to ignore any weariness and not be overwhelmed by Germany’s pressing game.

“We are convinced we can play our own game so we’re very calm from this perspective and keen to put into practice everything we’ve been working on in training,” Prandelli said.

“People are saying tomorrow will be an open game but we can’t just sit deep. We’ve worked on this for two years and it would be a shame to waste it and change our playing style.

“I always ask myself questions about my starting line-up. This means everyone is available to play and can give me selection headaches.

“We are all fit mentally and physically. I don’t think we can have any negative thoughts in our mind or think we are even a little bit tired.

“We have adrenalin and desire – these ingredients will be sufficient to forget any tiredness.”

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