Connect to share and comment

Football: Spain a measuring stick for Prandelli's Italy

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli believes his side's friendly against Spain in Madrid on Wednesday will be an important test for the Azzurri just three months before the World Cup.

Prandelli admitted that he was not in favour of facing the world and European champions so close to the tournament in case their paths were to cross in Brazil as they did at last year's Confederations Cup and twice at Euro 2012.

However, he recognised the value in facing one of the competition favourites as a yardstick to how his side are preparing for the World Cup.

"It is true that I didn't think it was a good thing to play this match, but at the same time it is a good measure for us to play against an opponent like Spain.

"It is difficult to find a weak point in Spain, but we will play with a positive mentality. If we think about defending for 90 minutes we will have problems.

"Spain don't just attack well, they are very strong in general."

Prandelli confirmed that he would start with a 4-4-2 formation and that he could hand debuts to Torino forward Ciro Immobile and Parma defender Gabriel Paletta.

"Whoever plays it will be difficult for sure. For everyone it is a test to show their level, including the new players."

Spain emerged victorious from both the final of Euro 2012 and on penalties in the Confederations Cup semi-final last year.

However, Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon said given the match doesn't carry the same weight, his side will not be seeking revenge.

"The game is important, but it is still a friendly. You can't compare it to an official match.

"We want to continue with the process of strengthening our team. I don't consider it a game to get revenge, but just to win against a great team."

kca/pi

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140304/football-spain-measuring-stick-prandellis-italy