After an impressive first game against England, Italy looked rather a shadow of the same team that outclassed the English. Dull and out of ideas, they lost to the surprise package of the tournament Costa Rica, putting their qualification to the next round in the balance. So what does Cesare Prandelli need to adjust in order to get his team back on track against the Uruguay?
Return Darmian to the right
The Torino fullback had an excellent game against England, combining well with Candreva on the right flank and showed character pushing forward, but against Costa Rica, he looked rather a very average player on the left, not offering any support in the attack. This left Candreva clueless down the right flank. Prandelli should reunite the duo back to the strong right flank he had against England and introduce De Sciglio on the left instead of Abate on the right, who didn’t offer much against Costa Rica either, an option Prandelli considers his first’s but wasn’t able to apply do due to Di Sciglio’s injury. However, the AC Milan fullback should be ready for the Uruguay decider.
Drop Cheillini ?
This might be a tough decision to make given Cheillini’s status as the best defender in the current squad, but the tough Juve man has been so poor thus far. He might have been victimized in the first game when Prandelli played him as a Left back, but in the 2nd when he returned to the heart of the defense he still looked shaky and error prone. Against the Uruguayans such a performance could prove costly with the likes of Cavani and especially the inform Liverpool hit man Luis Suarez. He can drop him for this crucial game and give a starting spot for fellow Juventino Leonardo Bonucci, and if they qualify, he can reassess Cheillini’s form and bring him back to the starting team.
A more offensive midfield
The 4-1-4-1 formation is a good one for the Azzurri, and the England game proved this, but it needs some modifying on the offensive part. Balotelli always looks isolated, While Pirlo and Motta/Veratti creates and dictates the play, De Rossi provides the defensive cover, leaving only Marchisio as a player with offensive duties. They need an extra player with attacking capabilites to support Super Mario and the introduction of Lorenzo Insigne on the left flank with Marchisio filling the role of Motta/Veratti will give them more options going forward given Marchisio’s ability to push forward and Insigne’s ability to play as a wide man or cut deep and be more a 2nd striker.