Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

Prandelli breaks the mould by naming his teams a day early

SOCCER-EURO/In rugby, teams are often named several days before matches -- a habit I've never really understood.

If there is any doubt about what lineup you will field, surely it makes sense to keep the opposition coach guessing until the final moment? The advantage may be slight, but it's there and it might make the other coach mess up his preparations if he guesses wrongly.

In soccer, teams are thus traditionally announced just one hour before kick off. It adds to the drama of matchday for those watching.

However, new Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has broken the mould and has been naming his teams a day before matches. He reads out the lineup and given he is such an honest guy, no one even thinks he is pulling a fast one. Indeed, the Italy teams he has named so far have always lined up the day after.