Prandelli mum on team for Malta qualifier

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will leave the selection of his starting line-up for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Group B’s bottom side Malta until the last minute.



Before leaving for the Mediterranean island, the Azzurri boss said he was still undecided about whether to start Torino’s Alessio Cerci, who impressed in the 2-2 friendly draw against Brazil on Thursday.



“I won’t tell you the line-up,” Prandelli said Monday at Italy’s training camp in Coverciano.



“I have doubts between Emanuele Giaccherini and Alessio Cerci and I won’t decide until closer to the start of the match tomorrow.



“However, I’m convinced that we are not completely ready to play with three forwards. I want to see and understand how our opponents line up first.



“It’s a very delicate game, we have to make sure that we don’t offer them space.



“We’ve called up Cerci and Lazio’s Antonio Candreva who can both play on the right of a three-pronged attack. Cerci is more of an attacker, Candreva more of a midfielder. But the doubt remains between Cerci and Giaccherini.”



Prandelli added that Cerci currently offered more options than Alessandro Diamanti.



“He’s having a good season at Bologna,” Prandelli said of the latter. “But there are specific roles in the national team, especially when it comes to constructing play.



“I’ve spoken to him, he prefers to start on the right and cut in centrally, but we’ll look at other opportunities for the moment. Cerci is more of a forward option than he is.”



Italy are currently one point clear of Bulgaria at the top of Group B and have played one game less, while Malta are rooted to the foot of the standings with no points from four matches played.

Read more :
  • Hot-serving Serena bludgeons past Kirilenko
    MELBOURNE - Serena Williams was at her enigmatic best on Monday after she bludgeoned her way into the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-2 6-0 win over Maria Kirilenko. The 31-year-ol...
  • Messi magic leaves Argentina in control in WC qualifiers
    Lionel Messi scored once and set up two goals as Argentina beat Venezuela 3-0 to remain in control of the South American qualifying race for the 2014 World Cup Buenos Aires on Friday. The ...
  • Leading players to get their way on doping controls
    MELBOURNE - Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and other leading tennis players calling for increased blood testing in tennis could get their wish in 2013 with the introduction of athlete biologic...
  • Teenager Stephens realizes last eight is “pretty cool”
    MELBOURNE - Sloane Stephens had a "pretty cool" realization after she beat Bojana Jovanovski on Monday, she's going to become a member of the Australian Open's "last eight club". The club ...
  • New boxing talents abound in N. Cotabato
    Boxer Rolando Magbanua of Pigcawayan CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Even in the din of the celebration following Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong’s historic feat of winning North Cotabato’s first world boxin...
  • Lionel Messi wary of Bolivian highlands
    Argentina may be cruising towards the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but world player of the year Lionel Messi is still nervous ahead of Tuesday's trip to Bolivia. The South American heavyweigh...
  • Indian football team fails to qualify for AFC Challenge Cup
    India failed to qualify for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup on Tuesday after they were pipped by Bangladesh and Turkemenistan for a spot in the the continent's second tier tournament meant for e...
  • Cuello challenges Zhong for WBC belt
    Denver “The Excitement” Cuello CONTRIBUTED PHOTO FILIPINO pug Denver “The Excitement” Cuello will challenge World Boxing Council (WBC) minimum weight champion Xiong Zhao Zhong of China on ...