Donadoni keeping his cards close ahead of Spain game

June 22nd, 2008 - 3:11 am ICT by IANS  

Vienna, June 22 (DPA) Italy coach Roberto Donadoni gave few clues Saturday about his line-up for the Euro 2008 quarter-final clash against Spain in Vienna. Donadoni is without the suspended Andrea Pirlo and Gennaro Gattusso for Sunday’s match at the Ernst Happel stadium but said he would only make a final decision about his team on the day of the game.

“It can happen throughout a tournament that you lose players,” said Donadoni. “Pirlo and Gattuso are suspended so we don’t have a full selection available but I am convinced that whoever comes in will play well. I have to evaluate my alternatives.”

One option is AS Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani playing alongside Daniele De Rossi and Massimo Ambrosini in the middle with Simone Perrotta just in front of the trio.

Donadoni looks certain to continue with Christian Panucci and Giorgio Chiellini in central defence, especially after the pair shut out France strikers Thierry Henry and Karim Benzema in Italy’s last match.

The coach admitted that Italy have been practising penalties in training in recent days but that he has yet to decide on his five first-choice penalty takers.

“We have tried out a few penalties so I know which players look the better option,” he said. “Tomorrow (Sunday) I will draw up a proper list.”

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