Prandelli keeping Man City's Balotelli, Cassano on their toes

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is keeping Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and AC Milan's Antonio Cassano on their toes as he considers his final Euros squad.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is keeping Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and AC Milan's Antonio Cassano on their toes as he considers his final Euros squad.

The pair are battling to make the final 23-man cut.

“Mario Balotelli and Cassano are finally together, but I might then opt for other players,” Prandelli laughed. “We’ll look to work on the quality of our play in order to get the best value from our attackers.

“Cassano’s strength is the way he is right now. A few days ago he said that he wanted to be in the final 23. He’s not sure of his place and that is pleasing.

“I’ve been clear with him – I can’t take players with me who are not 100 per cent because there isn’t the time to recover.

“Balotelli needs to think that this is an extraordinary opportunity for him. I hope that we only have to talk about what he does on the pitch. We’ll have to protect him from criticism.”

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