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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Balotelli fit for Mexico clash

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has allayed fears of an injury to Mario Balotelli, revealing the striker is likely to be fit for Sunday's Confederations Cup clash against Mexico.

Balotelli, 22, was believed to be in doubt for the Azzurri's opening game after aggravating a leg injury during training on Saturday.

But the AC Milan striker is expected to lead Italy's attack, with Prandelli confident of his side's chances against a Mexican team plagued by inconsistency in front of goal this year.

"We've taken into account the team's physical conditions. There's a good chance Balotelli can play," Prandelli said. "Our players have great quality, and we have built our team around keeping possession. We are excited to play in a legendary stadium [Rio de Janeiro's Maracana]."

A friendly draw with Haiti earlier in the week prompted concerns about Italy's preparations for the tournament, but Prandelli insists what he described as an "embarrassing" result will only serve as added motivation.

"We worked on our tactics as well as pride and motivation after that," he said. "We want to play a great game and win. I'm convinced everyone will peak at the right time."

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