Leonardo Bonucci and Christian Maggio are confident Daniele De Rossi can do well as a centre-back for Italy against the Czech Republic.
The Roma midfielder was tested out in defence for a 3-5-2 system  in today’s training session ahead of the World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
“I am not particularly surprised, as he has already played that role in the past,” Maggio told Sky Sport Italia.
“Of course, Daniele did not start as a defender, but he has the technical qualities that allow him to play in that role. In fact, having such good feet means he’s useful in launching moves from the back.”
De Rossi has previously played for the Azzurri in a four-man defence, while he occasionally took that position in a back three for Roma.
“Competition is just further motivation to do better and improve, as we must all be ready,” added Juventus defender Bonucci.
It is like De Rossi and Bonucci will be joined by Giorgio Chiellini against the Czech Republic.
The World Cup qualifier kicks off at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) at the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition  - £10,000 to be won!