Tomorrow Italy will be playing it’s final match of this international break, a qualifier for the European Championships of 2012 which will be taking place in Poland and Ukraine. The Azzurri will be facing Serbia at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris of Genoa, and the Sampdoria players like Cassano and Pazzini are looking forward to playing in front of their fans.
This match is important in many different ways, not only does Prandelli want to bounce back after the relatively disappointing draw against Northern Ireland, but he also needs to make sure he finds the right system with his players. With plenty of talented players to play as forwards, Prandelli needs to make sure everyone gets playing time, and that the forwards find a way to score some goals.
Right now the group is pretty tight, and although Italy are first right now, they could be overtaken if they don’t perform against Serbia. The group has Italy in first place with seven points, then Estonia just one point behind at six points, and then Slovenia, Serbia, and Northern Ireland all tied with four points while the Faroe Islands are at the bottom with zero points.
In the other matches taking place tomorrow of the group, you can expect Northern Ireland to win against the Faroe Islands, and it’s possible that Estonia will win at home when they face Slovenia. This forces the Azzurri to get a win, because if they don’t they could fall all they way down to third place in the group.
As for the team which Italy will be facing, Serbia have actually been going through a bit of a bad time recently. They first only managed a 1-1 draw against Slovenia, and then they were defeated at home 3-1 by Estonia. Serbia had gone a goal up in the second half against Estonia, and you’d expect them to hold onto the lead, but Estonia instantly fought back with three goals, disappointing the Serbian fans.
So Prandelli will have to take advantage of Serbia’s slump in form, but how will he do that? It seems possible that Pazzini will start along with Cassano, with Borriello also in the frontline. Prandelli experimented with a 4-3-3 in practice before the match starting Cassano on the left, drifting in inside to play as a “trequartista” behind Borriello and Pazzini.
This was accompanied by the midfield three which started in Ireland, Pirlo, De Rossi, and Mauri, and a defence composed of Zambrotta, Gastaldello (Bonucci received a knock against Northern Ireland, nothing serious though), Chiellini, and Criscito. And it seems like Prandelli would like to stick with Viviano in goal, but this entire formation could have a few changes by the time that the players begin to play Serbia.
To me the team looks good, Criscito is on the rise (as was Cassani, but Prandelli seems to have chosen Zambrotta instead), Cassano and Pazzini will be able to link up well, with Borriello wanting to make up for his missed chance in Ireland. My only disappointment is that yet again, Giuseppe Rossi probably won’t be part of the starting 11. He’ll most likely be used as a super-sub, which isn’t that great of a chance to prove himself.
What are your thoughts on the possible formation that Prandelli will put out? How do you think Italy will do against Serbia? Share your thoughts by commenting below!