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Prandelli rings in changes
by Paul Kennedy, August 9th, 2010 6:08PM

TAGS:  italy


[ITALY] American-born Giuseppe Rossi was called up for Italy's first game under new coach Cesare Prandelli, but he isn't expected to start for the revamped Azzurri, who play Ivory Coast Tuesday in London.

But Prandelli will likely start Mario Balotelli, who will turn 20 on Thursday and is considered the top young talent in Italy.

Balotelli, born in Italy to Ghanaian immigrants, broke into the Inter Milan lineup at the age of 17, but Italy coach Marcelo Lippi didn't take him to the 2010 World Cup.

Besides Rossi and Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Brazilian-born Amauri also didn't go to South Africa, but they were called up by Prandelli.

Amauri and Cassano are expected to start up front.

Giorgio Chiellini is one of the few holdovers from the World Cup, and he is expected start on the backline with Juventus teammates Leonardo Bonucci and Marco Motta.

Eight uncapped players were picked to the Italy squad, including both goalies, Palermo's Salvatore Sirigu and Bologna's Emiliano Viviano.

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