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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Prandelli hopes De Rossi learns lesson

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli expects Daniele De Rossi to play a key role for the country at the 2014 World Cup despite axing him from the squad for Wednesday's game against France.

Prandelli opted to omit Roma midfielder De Rossi, 29, after he punched Stefano Mauri during his side's 3-2 defeat to Lazio in the Rome derby.

The player will now serve a three-match suspension in Serie A, and Prandelli remains hopeful lessons will be learned.

Prandelli said on Gazzetta.it: "I haven't spoken to De Rossi yet but I will in the next few hours. I have no doubt that he will be key for us at the World Cup. Therefore, this punishment will serve to teach him that he cannot repeat such behaviour at a World Cup.

"He has too much of a fan's mentality. When you're handed responsibility then you have to behave accordingly. He could be Roma's captain for a long time and I'm sure he's very sorry for what's happened."

Meanwhile, Prandelli has urged Mario Balotelli to show Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini that he deserves a place in the starting line-up for his club when the Azzurri take on France.

Balotelli appears to be behind Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko in the City pecking order at present and Prandelli said: "He's a bit upset about being left out by Mancini, who I know only did it for technical reasons, but he shouldn't take it to heart.

"Mancini just thinks others are in better form. Clearly he's not satisfied with what he's been doing. Mario has to show that he deserves his place every day in training. He'll get his chance to prove him wrong in two days' time."

Prandelli said he is determined to secure victory over France despite it being a friendly.

"The friendly counts towards our ranking and it will be important because we're playing a good opponent," he added. "Some say that the rankings don't matter, but we all look at them. The young players that I put out there need to show enthusiasm and quality."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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