Italy expected to be on offensive against Croats

Antonio Cassano believes Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will continue his attacking approach as the Azzurri tackle Croatia in their second European Championship Group C match on Thursday.

Italy surprised many people with their positive performance in a 1-1 draw with world champions Spain on Sunday as they took the game to the defending champions at times and created several scoring opportunities.

And Cassano said a return to the traditional "catenaccio" (door-bolt) style of the past is not an option under Prandelli.

"From the first day Prandelli's style has always been to attack," said the 29-year-old AC Milan forward.

"He's changed his system but his style is always to have possession and to attack.

"Against Spain we did it less because they had a lot of the ball but you saw the same idea, it didn't change from attacking."

Cassano himself is the man who leads the line but many are wondering who will play alongside him.

Errant Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli got the nod against Spain but played poorly and was replaced just before the half hour mark by Antonio Di Natale, who looked lively and scored the opener.

Prandelli has admitted he is considering dropping Balotelli in favour of Di Natale and Cassano says he has no preference as to who he plays alongside.

"The important thing is that I play," he joked. "Whoever (Prandelli) he chooses, the problem would be if they both played and not me!"

Italy need a victory to ensure they tackle Ireland in their final group game with their destiny in their own hands as Croatia won their opening match against the Irish 3-1.

Failure to beat Croatia would mean Italy needing to beat Ireland in their final game in Poznan and hoping the result between Spain and Croatia does not cost them.

The importance of this match has not been lost on Prandelli who says he will change some things.

"What counts in the choices is the nervous and physical state of the players," he said.

"This will be the decisive match of the group. The idea is not to change too much so that we have consistency."

In the first match against Spain, Prandelli abandoned the four-man defence that conceded the least goals of any team in qualifying and reached the finals with two games to spare.

Instead he opted for a back three with wing-backs Christian Maggio and Emanuele Giaccherini working tirelessly on the flanks.

Prandelli has yet to decide what to do in his next match but says much will depend on the fitness of his players.

But he also admitted he hadn't decided who would start up front.

"Before thinking about how to tackle Croatia we have to study them well," he said.

"When we decide on how to tackle this team, we will decide on the forwards."

The pressure is on Italy as they play opponents with two more points than them.

Cassano is wary of the threat posed by Tottenham playmaker Luka Modric.

"Their main strength of course is Modric, he's the best of the Croatians and is a great player," he said.

"We'll play like we did against Spain, we'll go for a result, we'll play well and try to win the game to seal qualification."

But Croatia coach Slaven Bilic says his side only need one more win to reach the quarter-finals.

"We have three points, and we're top of the group," said Bilic.

"One win would be enough to go to the quarter-finals. We cannot fly in the championship, but let's go step by step.

"We respect all of our opponents. We have no fear against anyone. Spain and Italy are favourites in our group, but I still think we are able to beat one of them."

Should they do that, they will be in the last eight while Italy would need to beat Ireland in their final game and hope Spain slip up somewhere as well.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options