How Italy Will Line Up Against Denmark in the World Cup Qualifier
It'll be a friendly affair for Cesare Prandelli's Italian national team when they travel to Copenhagen to take on a Danish side that's desperate for a result which would put them in contention for one of the playoff spots to get into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Denmark are currently one point behind Bulgaria in Group B, while Italy already qualified for the World Cup. Cesare Prandelli now has the perfect opportunity to test out new tactics and fringe players who'll be looking to impress.
In between the pipes, the legendary Gianluigi Buffon could give way to second string Federico Marchetti, who excels at reaction saves and would be a starter for most nations had it not been for Buffon being in front of him on the pecking order.
The center of defense will most likely be patrolled by Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, assuming Prandelli does go with a four man defense.
Full-backs Lorenzo De Silvestri and Manuel Pasqual also received a rare call-up. Pasqual works great in a 3-5-2 formation as he loves to push up the flank and is a great crosser of the ball. He could be useful for Prandelli if he does decide to go with a Juventus-esque formation, as no one has really taken command of that left-wingback position on the Azzurri.
In the midfield, expect Andrea Pirlo to pull the strings as usual alongside Riccardo Montolivo and possible Thiago Motta, who would provide the steel in front of the defense.
Prandelli gave energetic Roma midfielder Alessandro Florenzi a deserved call-up. Not only is the 22-year-old extremely versatile, having lined up as a winger and midfielder domestically, but he is also one of the leading goalscorers in Serie A at the moment.
Who should start in attack for Italy?
Up front is where it gets very interesting for Italy. Explosive Torino winger Alessio Cerci is in the form of his life and should be a starter on the right flank, where he loves to cut it onto his fantastic left foot and curl balls into the top corner. He has also been tried as a pure striker this season at Torino and has excelled.
On the other attacking flank, Lorenzo Insigne could get the nod, but it remains to be seen whether or not Giuseppe Rossi plays from the first minute. This is Rossi's first game back with the national team after having been out for nearly two years with various knee injuries.
Don't be surprised to see a fully fit Mario Balotelli in the middle of the attack. Balotelli hasn't played in three weeks due to suspension, but was called up by Prandelli.
Prandelli has called up a slew of players who could fit into his two favorite formations—the 4-3-3 and the 3-5-2, so it'll be interesting to see how he decides to line up against Denmark.
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