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Cesare Prandelli

Prandelli Picks Ledesma For Romania Friendly


An international break is coming up this midweek, and Prandelli is preparing Italy for a friendly against Romania. From the 23 that the former Fiorentina coach has picked, you have some new inclusions like Lazio’s Argentinean-Italian, Cristian Ledesma, and the return of Mario Balotelli who has recovered from injury. The full squad of 23 is below:

Goalkeepers: Viviano, Mirante, Sirigu.

Defenders: Astori, Balzaretti, Bonucci, Cassani, Criscito, Gastaldello, Ranocchia, Santon.

Midfielders: Aquilani, De Rossi, Diamanti, Ledesma, Marchisio, Mauri, Pirlo.

Forwards: Balotelli, Gilardino, Pazzini, Quagliarella, Rossi.

To me the team looks very good, while Cassano isn’t included because of his fallout with Sampdoria, and therefore lack of playing time, there’s still creativity and flair in the squad. Balotelli has a big role to play, and apparently Prandelli has given him the number 10 shirt. Santon also makes a return for Italy, along with Aquilani, both players who look ready to step up and perform. Another player who will need to show his talent is Giuseppe Rossi, if he can put in a good performance in this friendly, then maybe he’ll ascertain himself as Balotelli’s strike partner.

My only worry is the defence, it seems slightly weaker than the rest of the team, but with Viviano, Sirigu, or Mirante in goal, I think that Italy probably won’t concede a goal. I expect a pretty comfortable win for the Azzurri, maybe 2-0? But what are your thoughts? Make sure to share them by commenting below!

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Click to comment


  1. David

    November 18, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Yeah, the team still looks good.

  2. David H

    November 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Not sure how likely it is that Prandelli would play a 3-man defense.

    At first when you said there’s plenty of creativity in the squad I thought “wtf?”

    Then I realized Aquilani, the next Pirlo, is back. Breaks my heart seeing him turn out for Juventus, but I’m glad he’s back for Italy. He can play further up the field until 2012, and with him & Pirlo on the field together (they’d better be on the field together!) Balotelli will have plenty to work with, as will Borriello.

    • Rami S.

      November 21, 2010 at 2:50 am

      If Ranocchia can establish himself then perhaps he can be partnered by Bonucci and Chiellini and then the Azzurri can play with two wing-backs such as Criscito and Maggio (or perhaps Santon with time if he keeps playing for Inter).

      I think it’s worth a shot to change the formation of the Azzurri and attempt to see if this works.

  3. Rami S.

    November 16, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I hope Rossi has a good game because he’s been so close to making the squad yet he has been unable to establish himself as part of the 23-man squad or as a starter.

    I am interested in seeing how Ledesma and Ranocchia play. If Ranocchia can prove himself then perhaps he can play along with with Bonucci and Chiellini in a three-man defensive line with the Azzurri then relaying on five players in the middle, including two wing-backs and a playmaker behind the 2 strikers.

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