Euro 2012 qualifying preview: Faroe Islands v Italy
Italy travel to the Faroe Islands in Euro 2012 qualifying on Friday, with coach Cesare Prandelli bemoaning the strike in Serie A.
An industrial dispute between the Italian players’ association and the league has seen the first week of the domestic campaign postponed, meaning many of Prandelli’s squad are yet to make a competitive appearance this season.
Italy top Group C of qualifying by five points from Slovenia with a game in hand over the second-placed side.
Nevertheless, they will be keen to maintain momentum by collecting three points in the match at the Torsvollor Stadium.
And Prandelli is hoping his squad’s lack of sharpness does not prove damaging to their chances.
“Everyone thinks that a win is in the bag, but in reality it depends on how we address the match,” Prandelli said.
“The lack of matches worries me.”
“I’d be even more worried if we had to face a big team such as France.”
While Prandelli frets, veteran Andrea Pirlo has talked up the team’s ability.
The midfielder, who joined Juventus from AC Milan in the off season, likened Italy under Prandelli to the Milan side he played in during the reign of Carlo Ancelotti.
“We are a good side who try to play the ball at all times,” Pirlo said.
“Our quality, especially in midfield, allows us to entertain the fans with a fast-paced and attacking style.”
“Barcelona are the ultimate right now, as they are unbeatable and wonderful to watch.”
“In my view, though, our characteristics are closer to Ancelotti’s Milan than the Spaniards.”
“I feel in good shape now too and am happy to be a part of this new project.”