If Mario Balotelli was more mature,Alberto Cassano had not suffered a minor heart problem lastNovember and Giuseppe Rossi was fit, Italy might be among theEuro 2012 title contenders. But without definitely one and maybe all three, they arelikely to struggle for goals despite coach Cesare Prandelli’sbold bid to rebuild the team and restore much-neededcredibility. For all his promise and flashes of brilliance, Balotelli isstill not considered by Prandelli to be ready to lead Italy’sattack given a raft of misdemeanours. The 21-year-old has won only seven caps so far, scoring onegoal, and was given clear warning in February that he riskedbeing left out if his behaviour did not improve. “The players know it, acting like this they risk missing theEuros,” Prandelli said after another Balotelli red card forManchester City. “You can’t be in the national squad if you riskleaving the team with 10 men.” Rossi, meanwhile, suffered damage to the ligaments in hisright knee at the end of October and a reoccurrence means he isout of the Euros. The real blow, however, would be the loss of the colourful29-year-old Cassano, who hopes to be fit for the tournamentafter returning to the AC Milan bench after five months out. The Bari-born forward’s career has been marked by tantrumsand personality clashes and he was overlooked by Prandelli’sprecedessor Marcello Lippi. Prandelli, however, gave him a vote of confidence and hestarted all the qualifiers, generally partnering Rossi and lessfrequently Sebastian Giovinco or Giampaolo Pazzini, top scoringwith six goals. A more mature Cassano was also key to Milan’s Serie A titlesuccess last season. But just when his career seemed to be backon track, he was diagnosed with a minor heart problem andunderwent surgery. Whatever happens, he will not be 100 percent fit in June. A look at the scoring records of the other strikers showsthe extent of his Prandelli’s problem. Giampaolo Pazzini has scored four times in 24 outings forItaly, Juventus striker Alessandro Matri once in five andGiovinco has yet to break his duck in seven. Elsewhere, the team bears a surprising similarity to the onethat flopped as holders at the 2010 World Cup, apart from thelikely absences of Gianluca Zambrotta, Vincenzo Iaquinta,Alberto Gilardino and the retired Fabio Cannavaro. Gianluigi Buffon, 34, remains the favoured choice in goal,an excellent season at Juventus having reinforced his status. Andrea Pirlo, who missed the first two games in South Africathrough injury, has kept his place at the heart of midfieldalongside a less tempestuous Daniele De Rossi, the squad’stopscorer with 10 goals, and the gifted Riccardo Montolivo. Italy emerged unbeaten through the qualifiers, booking theirplace with two matches to spare, as they made light of Serbia,Slovenia, Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland and Estonia. Their friendly results, on the other hand, have been a mixedbag, an impressive 2-1 win over Spain comparing favourably withhome defeats by Uruguay and the United States. Prandelli has certainly put Italy back on track aftermiserable campaigns at Euro 2008 and in South Africa and manywill be grateful that he has kicked out the histrionics. Whether Italy can add to their single Euro title, from 1968,remains a different matter entirely.