Italy’s chance of advancing to the second round in the world cup is in jeopardy after getting two draws in their first two games at the tournament, not to mention failing to win on their last game against New Zealand seems to effect the players’ mentality. However, a little bright light set to spark for the Azzuri’s final game against Slovakia as they could very well have their most creative player in this World Cup, Andrea Pirlo, back on the field after recovering from his injury.
Having Pirlo fit again for the next game, will provide a little bit of creativity that Italy seems lacking in the previous games, however there are still some doubts of whether Pirlo’s return would bring enough creativity for the Azzuri? And would the Milan playmaker be fit enough to battle against Hamsik and co.? I guess the answers for those questions can only be answered after the game ends, although Lippi can really minimize all of the minor aspect that could trouble Italy for the upcoming game, such as picking the right option.
The trouble that probably looming in Lippi’s mind is who should Pirlo replace? Would he go for the basically tactical thing by playing the 30-years-old deep lying playmaker instead of Ricardo Montolivo, who in my opinion has been a pretty bright spark for Italy in the last two games or re-arranged his formation by taking off Marchisio and put both Pirlo and Montolivo together on the field. Referring from the players latest performances, the second option probably the obvious options, however it’s also depends on the way Lippi want to take his team’s approach, getting Monto, Pirlo and De Rossi together could be dangerous if they fail to hold the ball longer than Slovakia as they De Rossi would be the only one who has the muscle to battle with Hamsik and co.
However, if Lippi decide to be conventional in his approach by taking off Montolivo for Pirlo, it would also be a gamble as there are no guarantee that the not 100% Pirlo have what it takes to unlock Slovakia’s defense. Having both Pirlo and Montolivo in the game would probably the gamble that the former Juventus’ coach should take as Italy seems in need for tons of creativity to get their attack going, without having any trequartista, the Azzuri looked lost in the final third as both Montolivo and De Rossi were too deep at times that forced them to play direct passes wide to the flank or straight to their strikers.
Surely with Pirlo and Montolivo, at least one of them can be placed in a more advanced position so Italy can finally linked their midfield and strikers, this should at least give more flair on the Azzuri’s attacking force and if the two can work well, I believe there will be much more dangerous pass for their strikers. Now everything lies on Lippi’s on how would he wants his team to play, taking a cautious step or gambling with a much more innovative and attacking formation, either way the Azzuri fans would surely hope that Pirlo’s addition will quench the team’s thirst on creativity