Cesare Prandelli's Tactical Options for 2013 and Beyond

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Cesare Prandelli's Tactical Options for 2013 and Beyond
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Since taking over the manager's chair for the Italian national team after the 2010 World Cup, Cesare Prandelli has for the most part relied on the diamond 4-3-1-2 that was his staple at Fiorentina.  

The coach has transformed the Azzurri from a team that too often leaned on the catenaccio tactics of old into a team that focuses on dominating possession and passing.

In the last year, however, Prandelli has begun to diversify his tactics.  Three-man defensive lines have been in vogue in Serie A this year, and Prandelli had incorporated the 3-5-2 into the team over the last year.  

Initially used as an emergency measure to cover a last-minute injury to Andrea Barzagli, Prandelli has since toyed with the formation in World Cup qualifying and will have a decision to make in terms of how to deploy his team going forward.

So what are the strengths and weaknesses of the two formations?  And which is Prandelli likely to choose with Italy's first match of 2013 only a week away?

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