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WC Qualification Europe

  • September 11, 2013
  • • 02:45
  • • Juventus Stadium, Torino
  • Referee: J. Eriksson
  • • Attendance: 35299
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Italy - Czech Republic Preview: Azzurri on brink of Brazil

Italy - Czech Republic Preview: Azzurri on brink of Brazil

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Cesare Prandelli's men have one foot in next summer's World Cup and can confirm their place as winners of their group with a positive result against Michel Bilek's side

Italy can seal World Cup 2014 qualification when they take on the Czech Republic on Tuesday, providing they match or better Bulgaria's result against Malta.

Cesare Prandelli's side put themselves on the verge of qualification with a 1-0 win over Bulgaria in Palermo on Friday and they could become the first European nation to book their tickets to Brazil on Tuesday.

Alberto Gilardino's goal moved them seven points clear at the top of Group B and Italy will fancy their chances of adding to their 13 goals this qualification campaign against a Czech side that shipped two goals against Armenia.

Those two strikes saw Michel Bilek's men fall to a costly 2-1 defeat that could ruin their chances of reaching the World Cup, as they missed a glorious opportunity to move into second place.

Italy have injury problems ahead of the game, with Luca Antonelli (ankle) and Ignazio Abate (groin) both ruled out of the match, while Lorenzo Insigne is a doubt.

Manuel Pasqual and Lorenzo De Silvestri have been called up to replace the injured pair, while Pablo Osvaldo and Riccardo Montolivo are also available after serving their bans.

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