Uruguay star Luis Suarez says Italy are still a threat even without Mario Balotelli ahead of their Confederations Cup third-place play-off.
The AC Milan striker has been sent back to Italy after being ruled out of the tournament with an injury in the group stage defeat by hosts Brazil.
Italy missed the enigmatic attacker in their semi-final shoot-out loss to Spain on Thursday, but Suarez believes Cesare Prandelli’s men have more than enough firepower in reserve to pose Uruguay problems.
“Even if they do not have Balotelli, there are a lot of players of the same quality, like (Sebastian) Giovinco,” the Liverpool forward told Globoesporte.
“Besides, Italy are always the same. They love to exploit the space left by opponents. If we do not play a great game, they can hurt us.”
Suarez highlighted Italy’s ability to come back from 2-0 down to beat Asian champions Japan 4-3 in the group stages as a clear sign of the attacking threat they pose.
“We should not be surprised that they did that,” he said.
“Italy are a team that you have to put away when you have the chance; otherwise they will always find a way to come back.”
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