Friendly international: Italy v Brazil preview
Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli is refusing to give Brazil any tactical clues ahead of Thursday night's international.
Last Updated: 21/03/13 7:12am
Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli is refusing to give Brazil any tactical clues as the Azzurri bid for a first win over the South American nation in over 30 years.
The Swiss city of Geneva will host tomorrow night's international friendly and, prior to his squad's departure from Coverciano, Prandelli faced questions about his apparent decision to partner Pablo Osvaldo with Mario Balotelli in attack, with Juventus' Emanuele Giaccherini seen training in midfield at the expense of regular starter Riccardo Montolivo.
The former Fiorentina boss would not be drawn on his line-up, though, as Italy look to warm up for next week's World Cup qualifier against Malta by securing a first victory over Brazil since the 1982 World Cup.
Prandelli told figc.it: "I have to prepare well for this game without giving any kind of advantage to Brazil. You can infer some of our plans having watched our training session, though. It's a game we want to play to the best of our ability so we can make life difficult for Brazil."
Prandelli will treat the game like a competitive fixture after recent friendly encounters saw Italy beaten 2-1 at home by France and then struggle to draw 1-1 in Holland.
The exact starting XI may be a closely guarded secret but defender Giorgio Chiellini will definitely not feature due to an ankle injury, with AC Milan full-back Ignazio Abate struggling with a muscle complaint.
Prandelli could instead hand 20-year-old Mattia De Sciglio his Italy debut on the left side of a defence featuring Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Christian Maggio.
Giaccherini could then join Andrea Pirlo, Daniele De Rossi and Claudio Marchisio behind Osvaldo and Balotelli, with Stephan El Shaarawy starting on the bench.
Brazil are hosting next year's World Cup and do not have to qualify but recent practice games have not inspired much confidence, with a 1-1 draw against Colombia preceding 2-1 defeats to both Argentina and England.
Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari only took two training sessions before the England game, having replaced Mano Menezes at the end of November, but Thursday's game and next week's meeting with Russia in London should give
a better indication of how his new-look squad is starting to gel.
He told Mediaset: "Italy are way ahead of us in terms of rebuilding their team. My Brazil side have played two games but Prandelli's team are the European Championship runners-up."
The 2002 World Cup-winning manager has Real Madrid forward Kaka as an option behind an attacking trident drawn from Neymar, Diego Costa, Hulk and Fred - with Ramires, Paulinho and Lucas all unavailable through injury.
Defenders David Luiz, Thiago Silva and Dante can expect to be flanked by Daniel Alves and Marcelo, with Fernando and Hernanes deployed in the centre of midfield.