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The Napoli right-back is anticipating a difficult encounter against Vardan Minasyan's side as the Azzurri look to extend their lead at the top of Group B

Christian Maggio says that Italy will prepare thoroughly for their World Cup 2014 qualifying clash against Armenia on Friday evening.

Ranked 64th in the Fifa rankings, Armenia won their opening match away at Malta, before falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Bulgaria.

Italy lead Group B having taken four points from their first two matches and will be keen to ensure complacency does not creep in as they look to continue their positive start.

Speaking at the Azzurri’s Coverciano training base, Maggio said: "There is a good chance that I’ll play and the whole team is ready to take part in a fierce and difficult encounter.

“We still don’t know too much about Armenia, but we will as there is still plenty of time before the match.

“A few days ago I spoke to my Napoli team-mate Marek Hamsik who faced them last year. He told me that they don’t have great individual qualities, but they are a side who work very hard.

“We’ll prepare properly for the game on Thursday.”

Antonio Cassano was again left out of Cesare Prandelli's side, but there was a recall for Zenit St Petersburg left-back Dominico Criscito, who was excluded from his nation's Euro 2012 squad after allegations of match-fixing.

 

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