By DAN KARELL
Italy National Team head coach Cesare Prandelli is planning on going with a new striker partnership when his side take on Germany in Milan on Friday.
With the return to fitness after two serious knee injuries and his red-hot scoring form for Fiorentina, Prandelli told reporters in Italy that he’d like to start Guiseppe Rossi alongside Mario Balotelli for the match against the Germans. The two have only started together once, back in November 2010 in a 1-1 draw with Romania, though Rossi played in a wide forward role in that match.
In my head there is a desire to see (Balotelli and Rossi) together, even though Giuseppe arrived (in Italy camp) with a fever,” Prandelli told Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Rossi’s health is a doubt due to the fever, but if he’s fit, it should be an interesting partnership. What isn’t in doubt is the form of the American-born forward, who leads Serie A with 11 goals in 12 matches for Fiorentina.
Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:
COSTA, VAN PERSIE WITHDRAW FROM RESPECTIVE NATIONAL TEAMS
After accepting his first ever Spanish National Team call up, Diego Costa has been forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering a hamstring injury, according to reports in Spain.
The Brazilian-born forward reportedly suffered the injury during his club Atletico Madrid’s last match, a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Sunday. Atletico didn’t disclose a timetable for Costa’s return on their website. Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque has replaced Costa with Juventus forward Fernando Llorente on the roster set to face Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie has pulled out of Holland’s November friendly matches against Japan and Colombia reportedly due to minor toe and groin injuries. Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal has replaced Van Persie with uncapped Vitesse midfielder Davy Pröpper.
KOMPANY INJURY WORSE THAN FEARED
Frustrated by the injury layoff of Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany, the Belgium National Team have sent their own chief doctor to check on the status of Kompany, and he’s returned with news that’s worse than they had thought.
“I think Vincent is going to be ready in several weeks,”Lieven Maesschalck told Sky Sports. “We will do everything we can to bring back Vincent in a good way for a long time. First of all he had a rupture, a tear into the abductor and then also he has bad luck with a small thing on the front side now, so it’s everything together.
“It’s not really so long – eight weeks is nothing in the time of injury. You must respect biology.”
The news is a blow not only to the Belgium National Team staff but Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who had hoped that Kompany would return by the end of November. However, the Man City captain now looks to be out until December at the earliest.
The remaining 210,000 or so tickets for the FIFA World Cup second phase of ticketing were bought in under seven hours after the window opened for ticket sales. (REPORT)
Manchester United are looking at a move with Borussia Dortmund that would see the Shinji Kagawa return to the German club with Marco Reus going to Old Trafford. (REPORT)
Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has returned to full training nearly three months after suffering an ankle injury. (REPORT)
Paris Saint-Germain will make up to €200 million per season in a single sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority, a move that is thought to circumvent Financial Fair Play regulations. (REPORT)
Sampdoria have sacked their head coach Delio Rossi with their club sitting in the relegation zone after 12 matches this season. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you believe a Rossi-Balotelli partnership can work for Italy? Disappointed that Costa and Van Persie withdrew from their respective National Teams? Do you see Man City signing a center back as cover during the January transfer window due to the Kompany injury problems?
Share your thoughts below.