The hosts look to seal their place in next year's European Championships by picking up an invaluable three points against a Slovenian side gunning for the runners-up spot
Cassani, Ranocchia, Chiellini, Criscito
Pirlo, De Rossi, Motta
Brecko, Cesar, Ilic, Jokic
Koren, Radosavlevic, Ilicic, Birsa
It is likely that La Nazionale will make a change in defence, where Mattia Cassani should replace Christian Maggio at right-back. The new Fiorentina man hinted that he could be given a chance in the side after expressing his hope at being presented in Florence on Tuesday night after completing his transfer. However, Cesare Prandelli has also indicated that he will not make any major changes to the line-up that struggled to beat Faroe Islands.
Slovenia are expected to name the same team that surprisingly lost to Estonia last week, which may prove to be a significant blow to their qualifying aspirations. However, it is still a very strong squad they possess, which includes five Serie A representatives and two Eredivisie performers in their ranks, aswell as the odd Bundesliga and Belgian Pro League talent.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Italy coach Prandelli returned to Fiorentina for his first home qualifier as national team boss, in a 5-0 victory against the Faroe Islands on 7 September last year.
- They prevailed 1-0 when they met Slovenia in Ljubljana on 25 March, where Brazilian-born Thiago Motta (pictured right) scored the only goal of the game on his Azzurri debut.
- Italy's record in six games against their neighbours from the west reads three wins, one defeat and two losses, with two wins coming on home soil.
- All five meetings since their first encounter have been settled by a single goal.
- The countries last met on October 8 2005 for the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, with the game finishing 1-1 as Bostjan Cesar scored a late equaliser for the hosts.
- Italy top Group C with 16 points from their six matches to date, while Slovenia lie in second, five points behind their opponents.
- Slovenia contain five players who ply their trade in Italy: Samir Handanovic, Valter Birsa, Bojan Jokic, Bostjan Cesar and Josip Ilicic.
- The Slovenians have won just one of their last four qualifiers, with Northern Ireland lurking just two points behind them, with a game in hand.