Prandelli has announced the squad of 23 which will face Estonia and the Faroe Islands this International break for the Euro 2012 qualifiers. The azzurri will face Estonia in Tallin September 3rd, and then the Faroe Islands in Florence September 7th. While they aren’t the toughest of opposition, Italy will also have to eventually face Serbia, Slovenia, and Northern Ireland as they attempt to qualify for the European Championships being held in Ukraine and Poland.
Here’s the 23-man squad:
Marchetti, Sirigu, Viviano
Chiellini, Bonucci, Cassani, Bovo, Antonelli, De Silvestri, Gastaldello, Molinaro
Pirlo, De Rossi, Pepe, Palombo, Montolivo, Cigarini, Lazzari
Cassano, Pazzini, Gilardino, Quagliarella, Rossi
There’s quite a list of injured players who could’ve been useful for Prandelli: Buffon, Iaquinta, Balotelli, Amauri, and Marchisio are all unable to play for Italy due to injuries. But it’s important to think about the players that Prandelli called up, I’m looking forward to possibly seeing a 4-3-3, with Cassano on the right wing, Pazzini in the middle, and Giuseppe Rossi on the left, but that isn’t Lippi’s only option. He could go with a 4-2-3-1, using De Rossi and Pirlo in front of the defence, and Pepe on the right, Rossi on the left, and Cassano supporting Pazini. There are plenty of attacking opportunities, but it’s important also to look at the rest of the team.
The squad looks solid in midfield and attack, but if there’s an area that worries me it’s the defence. The only well-known names among the defenders are Chiellini, Bonucci, and maybe Molinaro, the rest are relatively new to the Italian national team. While it’s positive thing that there are new faces, and not the same old players which Lippi used, I still worry whether the new players will be able to play well wearing the azzurri jersey. It’s good that there are some quality keepers though: Marchetti has already played for Italy, Sirigu is unproven at international level but is strong for Palermo, and Viviano personally held Inter to a 0-0 draw this weekend playing in goal for Bologna.
What are your thoughts on the Italian players which Prandelli has called? Can they do the job? What formation will the coach use? There are plenty of questions which will hopefully be answered on September 3rd and 7th when Italy plays Estonia and the Faroe Islands.