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Mattia Perin would seem the logical choice for the third goalkeeper spot, with his form for Genoa giving him the clear edge over his rivals. The 21-year-old has kept an impressive nine clean sheets this term, and won his first call up from Prandelli last month.
At full-back, the Azzurri have suffered due to injuries to Christian Maggio and Milan duo Ignazio Abate and Mattia De Sciglio. The latter offers a versatility the others lack, and his ability to provide cover for both flanks would be invaluable at a World Cup. Juve’s Angelo Ogbonna could also be added to the squad, as he is able to play both centrally and on the left side of a back four.
The midfield sees three of the coach’s favourites in contention, with Lazio’s Antonio Candreva battling with both Thiago Motta and Emanuele Giaccherini of Sunderland. Also uncertain of a place is Marco Verratti, a player whose attitude is the only issue, as his natural talent would otherwise make him an automatic choice.
“Why am I not a regular with Italy?” the 21-year-old pondered to La Repubblica last week (via FootballItalia.) “The real question I ask myself is whether or not I will be called, and at the moment it is not clear.” His average of 81.3 passes per game come at a completion rate of 91.6 per cent, according to WhoScored.com, but the fact he has picked up nine yellow cards in 26 appearances is worrying.
Up front, injury to Stephan El Shaarawy—a player whose importance was underlined here—has opened up the opportunity for 2006 heroes Luca Toni and Alberto Gilardino to claim a spot, while Daniel Osvaldo’s Juve form could yet see him edge out exciting Napoli youngster Lorenzo Insigne.
Finally, talented youngster Domenico Berardi could find himself in Brazil, with the Sassuolo winger making the headlines after scoring four goals against Milan earlier this season. While the goals have dried up since then, his form for the Neroverdi has been consistently good and may see him chosen by Prandelli.