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Soccer:Prandelli says Italy's young guns ready for challenge

Coach set to field experimental side against England

Soccer:Prandelli says Italy's young guns ready for challenge

(ANSA) - Florence, August 14 - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said on Tuesday that he expects the host of young players he has called up for Wednesday's friendly against England to quickly show they are up to playing international soccer. "I asked the guys to immediately identify themselves with the spirit of the Azzurri," said Prandelli, whose side beat England in June on the way to reaching the final of Euro 2012. "I think that they already have". Prandelli is set to field an experimental side in Wednesday's match in Berne. He decided not to select players from Serie A champions Juventus or Italian Cup-winners Napoli, who were in action in the Italian Super Cup in Beijing on Saturday. He is also without Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli, who has conjunctivitis, and left out AC Milan forward Antonio Cassano because he wants to give younger players a chance to shine. His squad for the England game includes young forwards Mattia Destro (who is 21), Stephan El Shaarawy (19), Manolo Gabbiadini (20) and Diego Fabbrini (22), as well as full-back Mattia De Sciglio and Paris Saint-Germain FC midfielder Marco Verratti, who are both 19. "If after the match tomorrow we go home with the knowledge that two or three young people are ready, we will be happy," Prandelli said Tuesday. There is doubt whether Roma defender Federico Balzaretti will play, due to muscle fatigue.

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