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Prandelli to wait on Barzagli decision

SoccerNews in European Championships, Serie A 5 Jun 2012

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Italy coach Cesare Prandelli says he will wait ‘until the last minute’ for defender Andrea Barzagli to prove his fitness for Euro 2012.

The 31-year-old’s availability for the tournament has been put in doubt after he sustained a calf injury which could rule him out of action for up to 20 days.

Prandelli has until Friday to decide whether to stick with his 23-man squad or call in a last-minute replacement.

“We will wait until the last minute to see if Barzagli can make the squad,” Prandelli told reporters.

“In case he does not recover, I have already put Davide Astori on standby, not Andrea Ranocchia because he also picked up an injury, so he would not be available anyway.

“Barzagli will obviously miss the first match at the Euros, but he has assured us of his availability, so we will wait.”

The Azzurri coach then gave a strong indication that he will go with a 3-5-2 formation against Spain in their Euro 2012 opener and admitted to having mixed feelings about the upcoming contest.

“We have tried Daniele De Rossi as a centre-back,” he added. “This will allow us to add one extra player to the midfield.

“The positive thing about the match against Spain is that our focus for a match as difficult as this one will be the highest possible.

“The negative thing is that Spain are our first opponents.

“The match against Russia was a bad one, but we have analysed our errors carefully. We want to fight back and show our true colours.”

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