Watch Italy vs Ivory Coast Soccer Live streaming, Espn tv 10/8

Cesare Prandelli is set to hand Mario Balotelli his Italy debut in tomorrow's friendly with Ivory Coast at Upton Park.Watch Italy vs Ivory Coast Soccer Live streaming, Espn tv

The 19-year-old Inter Milan striker, a target for Manchester City, will get another chance to impress the Eastlands outfit in Prandelli's first game as coach.

The former Fiorentina boss took over from Marcello Lippi after the World Cup, where Italy crashed out in the group stages.
"The idea of starting with Balotelli is that I want to use all the attacking potential at my disposal,'' said Prandelli on the Italian Football Federation's official website.

"I saw (in training) he was immediately eager to join the team. He knows that this is the beginning of a long journey.''

Balotelli looks likely to line up alongside Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano against the Ivorians, who also failed to make it to the knock-out stages in South Africa.Watch Italy vs Ivory Coast Soccer Live streaming , Espn tv

But while they came up against Brazil and Portugal in the first round, losing to the South Americans after a goalless draw with the Portuguese, Italy suffered the humiliation of only drawing with New Zealand and then losing to Slovakia to finish rock bottom of what looked on paper one of the easiest groups in the tournament.

"They are strong team and tidy,'' added Prandelli. "It will be a good test.

"The players know this is important, because soon we will being playing games that matter.''

Brazil-born forward Amauri could also make his debut for Italy in the match.

Roma midfielder Daniele Di Rossi will captain a youthful Italy side, but he acknowledges he is unlikely to hold onto the armband when senior players return.

"I feel a special responsibility to be the captain, because, as at Roma, I have tried to put the young group at ease,'' said Di Rossi. "The armband will go, when the other players like (Gianluigi) Buffon, (Andrea) Pirlo and (Gianluca) Zambrotta, who have more appearances than me, return.''

Di Rossi also claimed there was no rift between himself and former Roma team-mate Cassano.

"With Cassano I had some problems but now everything is okay,'' he added. "I accept and respect all my team-mates without hesitation. Cassano is the most talented of players.

"Mario (also) impressed me with his footballing quality. The whole group is doing well.''

Ivory Coast will also be under the leadership of a new coach, with Francois Zahoui now in charge, former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson having been in the hotseat during the World Cup.


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