Saints loanee Dani Osvaldo facing stiff competition for place in Italy's World Cup squad

Daily Echo: Dani Osvaldo Dani Osvaldo

SAINTS loanee Dani Osvaldo is competing with six other strikers for five places in Italy’s provisional World Cup squad.

And coach Cesare Prandelli has told them all – even Mario Balotelli – that their places in the Azzurri's World Cup squad is not guaranteed.

“I will call seven strikers for five places,” Prandelli said.

“But, above all, there is no-one that has a secure spot - not even Balotelli.

“I need to select 23 players who are in great condition. Right now I can possibly think of 22 plus one.”

Those words cast a doubt over Osvaldo’s chances of making the plane to Brazil.

He has only scored five club goals in 2013/14.

He netted three in 13 Premier League outings for Saints and has scored just twice in 16 appearances for Juventus after joining the newly crowned Serie A champions on loan at the end of January.

Both of those goals were against Trabzonspor in the Europa League, and the last of them was back on February 27.

Osvaldo has only made eight league and cup starts for Juve, and the club are unlikely to take up the option of signing him permanently.

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi is expected to make the 30-man group despite the 27-year-old still needing to prove his fitness, having only returned to play on Saturday following a serious knee injury.

Rossi celebrated making his first league appearance in four months when he came off the bench to score in the Viola’s 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo on Tuesday.

“Rossi deserves all our love," Prandelli said. "I am happy for his goal and I will wait until the last moment.

“However, as I have said before, I want to see him play in four or five games."

Torino forward Ciro Immobile, who is Serie A’s top scorer with 21 goals this term, and Roma’s leading marksman Mattia Destro are also in contention.

Destro will return to play in Sunday's home game against Juventus having missed his team's last four league games through suspension for violent conduct.

“I have never said that if I pick Immobile that will exclude Destro, and vice-versa," Prandelli said. “The difference between the two is more regarding character than technique.

“Immobile is more free mentally, while Destro is a player with a great ability, but potential is not enough.

“I have seen Immobile play and noted his generosity.

“Destro is a little more inscrutable. He has great talent but must do something more."

Prandelli has not ruled out including Parma's veteran striker Antonio Cassano in the roster.

The 31-year-old has yet to play in a World Cup finals, but was part of Prandelli's squad for the 2012 European Championship when Italy reached the final.

Cassano has scored 12 goals and come up with five assists to help Parma remain in contention for European football next season.

“Cassano? This season he has been one of the most consistent in his performances," Prandelli said. “And he can always decide a game."

Prandelli must submit Italy's provisional squad to FIFA by next Tuesday.

Italy are paired in Group D alongside England, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Comments (8)

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9:51am Fri 9 May 14

jls217 says...

If Italy can't find five strikers better than Osvaldo then they can be discounted as serious contenders.

Immobile? - Bit of an unfortunate name for a sportsman!

Tempted to say Dani who???? But that would be puerile wit at its very worst so I won't say Dani who????
If Italy can't find five strikers better than Osvaldo then they can be discounted as serious contenders. Immobile? - Bit of an unfortunate name for a sportsman! Tempted to say Dani who???? But that would be puerile wit at its very worst so I won't say Dani who???? jls217
  • Score: 6

10:14am Fri 9 May 14

forest-dweller says...

Really need him to get picked and have a great WC, otherwise chances are we'll either have him back next season or need to practically give him away. Bad, bad signing that has cost Saints a lot, both financially and, to me, a lot on the field as well. We dominate so many games, but lack a bit in front of goal and a world class striker that Osvaldo thought he was should have banged them in all day long.
Really need him to get picked and have a great WC, otherwise chances are we'll either have him back next season or need to practically give him away. Bad, bad signing that has cost Saints a lot, both financially and, to me, a lot on the field as well. We dominate so many games, but lack a bit in front of goal and a world class striker that Osvaldo thought he was should have banged them in all day long. forest-dweller
  • Score: 3

10:30am Fri 9 May 14

killared says...

Rossi, Balotelli, Insingne, Immobile are going for sure Osvaldo not quiet sure but hey who knows ?!
Rossi, Balotelli, Insingne, Immobile are going for sure Osvaldo not quiet sure but hey who knows ?! killared
  • Score: 0

10:45am Fri 9 May 14

jls217 says...

Hey Who - On the selection panel for Italy then, got a great reputation, hear his name all the time.
We can only pray Dani (wotisname) goes, scores a couple of hat tricks, a dozen assist, get man of the match in every game he plays and doesn't give anyone a face full of hair gel. Once his price peaks at £30m flog him to the first bidder, Give poor old Fonte a bonus to get his face fixed and buy two up and coming strikers = no reason to sell anyone else.
If there is a god he will listen to us on this one.
Hey Who - On the selection panel for Italy then, got a great reputation, hear his name all the time. We can only pray Dani (wotisname) goes, scores a couple of hat tricks, a dozen assist, get man of the match in every game he plays and doesn't give anyone a face full of hair gel. Once his price peaks at £30m flog him to the first bidder, Give poor old Fonte a bonus to get his face fixed and buy two up and coming strikers = no reason to sell anyone else. If there is a god he will listen to us on this one. jls217
  • Score: 1

7:14pm Fri 9 May 14

Seedhouse the Unrepentant says...

What a wasted talent. Stupid boy.
What a wasted talent. Stupid boy. Seedhouse the Unrepentant
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Fri 9 May 14

jls217 says...

Seedhouse the Unrepentant wrote:
What a wasted talent. Stupid boy.
Right on the button Seedhouse. Clearly he is talented and should have everything going for him but clearly there is something misfiring in his head. Hope for his sake he doesn't mature at about 35 and realize the opportunity he has thrown away as his career crumbles around him. Poochy knew him of old and must have known about this self destruct button and yet still signed him - which only goes to show A. Even Poochy is human enough to make mistakes. Or, B. He is so good that Poochy was willing to risk his transfer budget on him.
[quote][p][bold]Seedhouse the Unrepentant[/bold] wrote: What a wasted talent. Stupid boy.[/p][/quote]Right on the button Seedhouse. Clearly he is talented and should have everything going for him but clearly there is something misfiring in his head. Hope for his sake he doesn't mature at about 35 and realize the opportunity he has thrown away as his career crumbles around him. Poochy knew him of old and must have known about this self destruct button and yet still signed him - which only goes to show A. Even Poochy is human enough to make mistakes. Or, B. He is so good that Poochy was willing to risk his transfer budget on him. jls217
  • Score: 0

11:19am Sat 10 May 14

NC Fan4Life says...

Unfortunately he has not done enough so we will have to cut our losses.
Best option is to use him in a make-weight in a transfer deal for a player we do want anywhere in Europe.
Unfortunately he has not done enough so we will have to cut our losses. Best option is to use him in a make-weight in a transfer deal for a player we do want anywhere in Europe. NC Fan4Life
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Sat 10 May 14

jls217 says...

NC Fan4Life wrote:
Unfortunately he has not done enough so we will have to cut our losses.
Best option is to use him in a make-weight in a transfer deal for a player we do want anywhere in Europe.
Now I know we are having an anti-football gossip column period at Saints but there is one in the Sun today that I pray - just for once has a ring of truth to it. Osvaldo is wanted by Valencia. A marriage made in heaven - we can only hope.
BTW usual complete page about Lallana going Skiverpool and Adam has apparently demanded a transfer. - It is for this reason today's Sun is tomorrow's toilet paper in this house.
[quote][p][bold]NC Fan4Life[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately he has not done enough so we will have to cut our losses. Best option is to use him in a make-weight in a transfer deal for a player we do want anywhere in Europe.[/p][/quote]Now I know we are having an anti-football gossip column period at Saints but there is one in the Sun today that I pray - just for once has a ring of truth to it. Osvaldo is wanted by Valencia. A marriage made in heaven - we can only hope. BTW usual complete page about Lallana going Skiverpool and Adam has apparently demanded a transfer. - It is for this reason today's Sun is tomorrow's toilet paper in this house. jls217
  • Score: 0

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