The group of Death will reach its final conclusion at the Estadio das Dunas in Natal as Italy take on Uruguay in a match in which ‘winners take all’ and progress through to the round of sixteen. While Costa Rice have shocked the entire football fraternity with their unusual 5-4-1 system, getting the better of the two teams who were supposed to fight for a place in the last sixteen, this World Cup doesn’t cease to throw a moment of excitation. While Oscar Tabarez’s side managed to beat a spirited England side thanks to Luis Suarez’s brace, Cesar Prandelli’s side were tactically out maneuvered by the Costa Ricans. Can the Azzurris strike back to win the all important encounter or will the last edition’s semi finalists have the last laugh. Here is Italy’s strongest possible lineup against Uruguay.
Gianluigi Buffon should be fit for the crucial encounter and the Juventus shot stopper will have to face Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani, who with their direct approach can cause the Italy back line a lot of problems in the attacking third. PSG’s Salvatore Sirigu did a great job against England, but Prandelli should bring back his captain for the clash, which might be the last for the 36 year old in the International stage if Italy lose the encounter.
Matteo Darmian and Mattia de Sciglio should play as the full backs with the latter shrugging off a thigh injury to replace former Liverpool defender Gabriel Paletta in the starting eleven. Both the full backs will have enough encouragement to barge forward at will and will look to provide crosses from the flanks for the strikers to get on the end of them. Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli should be the centre backs, who will have a tough job to contain Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavanai.
Daniele De Rossi’s injury will be a huge blow for the Italians as they will lack a proper anchorman who can also screen the back four. Thiago Motta might don that role, but it all depends on whether the Azzurris will line up in a 3-5-2 or a more risk free 4-1-4-1 system with Marco Veratti slotting alongside playmaker Andrea Pirlo in the centre of the park. Antonio Candreva should start from the bench this time around with Juventus’ Claudio Marchisio playing in an advanced role which might still see the duo of the Juventus midfield, Pirlo and Marchision combine with Marco Veratti in what would be an unsymmetric midfield balance with the left back Mattia De Sciglio braging forward from the left.
There have been a lot of suggestions whether Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile will start alongside Arsenal target Mario Balotelli up front. Going by history, when it comes to tactically outfox opponents, the Italians are the masters of unpredictability. Immobile is a certain option but by the looks of it, Balotelli should lead the lineup up front as Italy will look to maintain a compact shape off the ball in the 4-1-4-1 system . Prandelli did train his system with the 3-5- 2 setup as reported by Football Italia, there are also a lot of rumours that Antonio Cassano might have a key role to play later on in the encounter.