Giovedì, 20 Settembre 2018
SOFIA

Soccer: Prandelli buzzing about World Cup campaign

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Sofia, September 7 - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli
said Friday he was enthusiastic about the Azzurri's World Cup
campaign that kicks off in Bulgaria Friday.
"I have a lot more enthusiasm than before," said the
coach, who recently renewed his contract with the national team
for two years, amid rumours he might want to return to the more
hands-on field of club soccer, after Italy came second to Spain
at Euro 2012.
"Getting to the World Cup Finals is the dream of everyone,
from the fans to the coaches".
"This may be a transition period between the Euros and the
future but I'm not living it with apprehension: I have a lot of
interesting lads at my disposal".
Prandelli is being tipped to field a new combination of
Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco and AS Roma's Pablo Osvaldo
up front against Bulgaria.
The coach has to make changes in attack because he is
without Manchester City's Mario Balotelli and Inter Milan's
Antonio Cassano, the forwards he used most during the Azzurri's
run to the final of Euro 2012.
Balotelli is unavailable after having surgery on an eye
problem and Cassano is not 100% fully match fit, although he did
score in Inter's 3-1 defeat to Roma on Sunday before coming off
early in the second half.
Giovinco, who was part of Prandelli's Euro 2012 but hardly
featured, scored twice in Juve's 4-1 drubbing of Udinese on
Sunday to help maintain the Turin side's perfect start to the
season.
Argentine-born Osvaldo, who played twice for the Azzurri
last season but failed to make the Euro 2012 squad, has also
netted twice so far this term, including a delightful chipped
effort in Roma's 3-1 victory over Inter last weekend.
Defenders Federico Balzaretti and Davide Astori had to pull
out of the squad with leg injuries, forcing Prandelli to call up
Milan's uncapped centre back Francesco Acerbi.
Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi, however, is expected to
be fit enough to play following a mild ankle sprain.
The Azzurri face Malta in Modena on Tuesday in their second
qualifier.
The other Group B members are Denmark, Czech Republic and
Armenia.

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