Hatching a Plan for Italy to Stop Uruguay Forward Luis Suarez

Matteo BonettiContributor IJune 23, 2014

RECIFE, BRAZIL - JUNE 20:  (L-R) Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo of Italy sing the National Anthem prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Italy and Costa Rica at Arena Pernambuco on June 20, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

After picking up three points from their first two World Cup matches, Italy must now win or draw against Uruguay to advance out of the group stage.

Their biggest hurdle will be stopping Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who shook off injury and doubts by disintegrating England with a spectacular brace.

Suarez's first goal was a spectacular header resulting from some help from Edinson Cavani. His second strike was the true mark of a finisher. Suarez was inexplicably free right after Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera booted it downfield, and he fired a bullet right into the top corner.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:  Luis Suarez of Uruguay kicks the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match between Uruguay and England at Arena de Sao Paulo on June 19, 2014 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With one of the worst performances ever recorded by Cesare Prandelli's men, the coach knows he must change his approach if he wants to avoid another situation reminiscent of the 1-0 loss to Costa Rica a few days ago.

Changes are coming, and they start with the formation.

According to La Repubblica, Prandelli has started using a 3-5-2 formation in practice that mirrors the domestically successful Juventus model.

The Juventus back-four should start, while the eternal Gianluigi Buffon will start his second straight game in goal.

He'll have three familiar names in front of him, with the Bianconeri trio of Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci deployed to stop the attacks from Suarez and company.

Bonucci in particular will be given the duty of spreading the ball around from the back, as his long-range passing ability is second to none at center-back.

Unfortunately, Daniele De Rossi will miss the match after suffering a slight knock. Italy will have to depend on either Claudio Marchisio or Thiago Motta to help harass Suarez when he's in an attacking position.

What makes Suarez so difficult to defend is that he can wander off to the flanks or behind the striker to receive the ball. When in possession, he can easily go by defenders with his fantastic dribbling ability and quick bursts of acceleration.

It's here that the finesse defending of Barzagli and the raucous nature of Chiellini can come into play.

Chiellini has a reputation for being one of the most difficult defenders to face, as his tenacity and aggressiveness have often been a key component in frustrating opposing strikers.

Barzagli and Chiellini defend against Joel Campbell
Barzagli and Chiellini defend against Joel CampbellLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

There is no one better to cling near Suarez and frustrate him into anonymity.

What's great about the 3-5-2 formation Prandelli plans to deploy is that it easily becomes a 5-3-2 in defense. The two full-backs drop back while two of the midfielders also retreat.

If there's any formation that can stop Suarez, it's the one based on the familiar and historically successful Juventus model.