Buffon urges Italy to seize 'big chance' for qualification

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Runners-up four years ago, Italy can qualify for Euro 2016 with a win over their minnow opponents, with their legendary captain urging his side to be ruthless

Gianluigi Buffon says Italy have no excuses not to secure qualification for Euro 2016 when they take on Azerbaijan on Saturday.

Antonio Conte's side head into matchday eight in Group H with a two-point lead at the top and will book their place at the finals in France with a victory in Baku.

Buffon is eager for Italy to seize their opportunity to qualify at the first time of asking, rather than wait for the visit of Norway next Tuesday.

"We have a big chance which we have to take," said the Juventus veteran.

"We have to leave the pitch with no regrets. It's always nice to play big games like this."

Head coach Conte has warned Italy not to underestimate Azerbaijan, however, with Robert Prosinecki's side having held Croatia and Norway in a run of three consecutive draws in qualifying.

"They're our direct rivals. They're a good team, they've grown a lot," he said to Sky.

"It won't be a walkover. It's in a new stadium, and there will be lots of people there.

"All this is good, it will help us to stay focused and make sure we don't underestimate the job we have to do."

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