(Sporting Alert) — Cesare Prandelli remains cautious and vow not to give anything away heading into Friday’s friendly football international with Brazil, but the Italy coach did note that he’s fearful of Neymar.
“Which player do I fear the most? Neymar,” Prandelli said when asked to identify the Brazil’s biggest threat.
“We are taking on a team that is rich with talent, with technically-gifted players that like to get at you from deep positions.
“But we know how to make things difficult too.”
Both teams, who will meet also in the Confederations Cup in the summer, will be using the game as preparations for their respective World Cup qualifiers next week and are hoping to take some positives from the encounter.
Italy have struggled against Brazil in a long stretch, but Prandelli believes he has the right team to collect the Azzurri’s first win over the South American opponents in over 30 years when they defeated them in the 1982 World Cup.
“It’s a game we want to play to the best of our ability so we can make life difficult for Brazil,” Prandelli said.
He added: “I have to prepare well for this game without giving any kind of advantage to Brazil.
“You can infer some of our plans having watched our training session, though.”
Meanwhile, it is still uncertain as to what team Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari will field.
However, the 2002 World Cup-winning boss will be without midfielders Ramires, Lucas and Paulinho, who are all unavailable because of injuries.
It is believed though that Real Madrid playmaker Kaka, Neymar and Hulk are all expected to be in the starting lineup.
Even Prandelli refuses to give anything away it is understood that the likes of striker Mario Balotelli, who has been in top form since his move to AC Milan and has recovered from an injury, and midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini of Juventus, are both in the starting lineup for Italy.
It is still uncertain as to whether Balotelli’s club teammate Stephan El Shaarawy or Pablo Osvaldo would partner him in the attack.
However, Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi are all set to start.