Italy bid to get back on track

Italy will look to get their Euro 2012 preparations back on track following an unsettling week when they take on Russia.

Last Updated: 31/05/12 at 20:37

Prandelli: Making the best of it

Prandelli: Making the best of it

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

The friendly in Zurich is the only warm-up game the Azzurri will play before opening their European Championship campaign against Spain on June 10.

Cesare Prandelli's men were set to play Luxembourg in Parma on Tuesday, but that game was cancelled after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Emilia Romagna region.

With their last international outing coming back in February, it is not the ideal build-up for the 2006 World Cup winners, but Prandelli is not dwelling on that and is determined to make the most of Friday's match at the Letzigrund stadium.

"What has happened has happened," he said on Thursday. "We must use tomorrow's game as much as possible and give responsibility to the players.

"We know that we are lacking games but we have worked a lot to arrive prepared in terms of tactics.

"I want to see what the condition of my players is considering that this is the first game in a long time."

Aside from the cancelled match, Italy have also had to contend with other off-field issues this week following the second match-fixing scandal to hit the country in the past six years.

Italy omitted Zenit St Petersburg defender Domenico Criscito from their squad on Monday after he was handed an official notification by the police at the Azzurri's training headquarters in Coverciano, Florence, of being under investigation.

Twenty-two football clubs and 61 individuals face charges related to a match-fixing ring and betting scandal.

"With regards to the match-fixing situation I feel embarrassed to talk about 40 or 50 rotten individuals," Prandelli said.

"I just want to focus on tomorrow's game."

Regarding his line-up against the Russians, Prandelli has not ruled out playing a three-man attack that would include Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Riccardo Montolivo.

"It is possible that tomorrow you will see two tactical line-ups," Prandelli said. "One with three men in attack and another one with a central reference point further back."

What is almost certain is that Manchester City striker Balotelli, who missed this morning's training session in Coverciano because of a toothache that forced him to see a dentist, will start.

"Balotelli is serene and motivated, regardless of the toothache," Prandelli said.

Prandelli is set to rest Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini despite the Juventus defender having recovered from a right thigh strain.

Italy finished top of their qualifying group but lost their last two friendlies against Uruguay and the United States.

In addition to facing Spain, Italy will take on Croatia and the Republic of Ireland in Group C next month.

Russia, meanwhile, will take on the Czech Republic, Greece and co-hosts Poland in Group A.

The Russians, coached by Dick Advocaat, will be looking to keep their unbeaten run going having not tasted defeat since February 2011 - 12 games ago.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Fixtures

Wednesday, 08 October 2014
16:00
Ecuador v Colombia  
Thursday, 09 October 2014
Mexico v Honduras  
Friday, 10 October 2014
Chile v Peru  
China v Thailand  
Japan v Jamaica  
Korea Rep v Paraguay  
Oman v Costa Rica  
Saudi Arabia v Uruguay  
U.A.E v Australia  
Uzbekistan v Bahrain  

Footer 365

Champions League review: Big wins for Roma and Porto, Barca edge to victory

Roma and Porto earned big wins in the Champions League, while Barcelona opened their campaign with a narrow victory.

Champions League: Jose Mourinho rues missed chances in Schalke draw

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's failure to kill off Schalke with a second goal before Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's equaliser.

Champions League: Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart left to rue late Bayern Munich winner

Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart admitted Jerome Boateng's late winner for Bayern Munich felt like a kick in the teeth.

Mail Box

I've Given It Some Thought: He's Got To Go

There is some more considered reaction to Arsenal and Liverpool's results, plus a big get well soon message for Jonas Gutierrez. And an apology to Merse...

B**locks To That, I'm Going To Sit In The Shed

Arsenal supporters given their understandable reaction to the debacle in Dortmund, whilst Liverpool fans weren't too impressed either. Still, at least they won...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property