(Sporting Alert) — AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli will start for Italy when they take on the Netherlands in the friendly football international at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday.
Balotelli made his long-awaited return to Italy during the January transfer window after several controversial moments with Premier League side Manchester City in his two-and-a-half seasons, and Italy head coach Cesare Prandelli thinks the move was the right one for the striker.
Prandelli announced his starting team for the clash with World Cup finalists Holland and AC Milan strikers Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy have been trusted to get the goals.
“The fact that they’re now playing together at club level is an advantage for the national team,” Prandelli was quoted as saying.
“Now is not the time to make the final decision but we are giving it some thought.
“We thought about using that partnership against France in August and since then we’ve seen the enormous potential.
“Would I have my hair cut into a crest like theirs if they win us the World Cup? If it helps us win the thing, I’d get two cut into my hair.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United forward and Barclays Premier League leading goalscorer Robin van Persie, is set to start for Holland and he’s just two goals shy of equalling Johan Cruyff’s mark of 33 goals.
Italy will be without the services of Giorgio Chiellini, Christian Maggio, Claudio Marchisio, Federico Balzaretti and Sebastian Giovinco for the clash because of injuries.
The Netherlands will be without the likes of Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Rafael van der Vaart, Maarten Stekelenburg, John Heitinga, Michel Vorm, Nigel de Jong and Luciano Narsingh due to injuries and other various reasons.
Stay tune for all the football scores after this and other games.
POSSIBLE STARTING TEAMS
HOLLAND: Krul, Van Rhijn, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi, Clasie, Maher, Strootman, Kuyt, Van Persie, Lens
ITALY: Buffon, Abate, Barzagli, Astori, Santon, Montolivo, Pirlo, Giaccherini, Diamanti, Balotelli, El Shaarawy