With the late withdrawal of Mario Balotelli through illness, Cesare Prandelli has called upon the Juventus and Roma strikers to get the goals
Cesare Prandelli fields six Juventus players in his starting line-up to face Armenia in Yerevan this evening.
Mario Balotelli was supposed to start alongside Pablo Osvaldo up front but the Manchester City striker was ruled out earlier today after suffering from flu. The goalscoring onus now lies with Sebastian Giovinco, who has scored three goals in six league games for Juventus so far this season.
One Juventus man who does miss out though is Giorgio Chiellini whose form has been inconsistent since his return from injury. Andrea Barzagli partners Leonardo Bonucci at the heart of defence whilst there is a recall to the starting XI for Dominico Criscito. The Zenit St Petersburg left-back was excluded from Prandelli's Euro 2012 squad after allegations of match-fixing but now that he has been cleared of all charges, the 25-year-old is preferred to Federico Balzaretti. Napoli's Christian Maggio starts at right-back.
Elsewhere, the Azzurri lineup has a familiar feel with a midfield trio of Daniele De Rossi, Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio, with Riccardo Montolivo playing in the hole behind the front two.
Having impressed for Milan, Stephan El Shaarawy will be hoping to make his competitive national debut from the bench, as will Paris Saint-Germain starlet Marco Verratti.
For Vardan Minasyan's side, Yura Movsisyan has been given the lone starting berth up front, supported by Shakhtar Donetsk's Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Marcos Pizzelli and Gevorg Ghazaryan miss out through suspension whilst goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky takes the armband in his 74th appearance for Armenia, the highest-capped player in the nation's history.Italy (4-3-1-2):Buffon; Maggio, Barzagli, Bonucci, Criscito; Marchisio, Pirlo, De Rossi; Montolivo; Giovinco, Osvaldo.
Subs: De Sanctis, Sirigu, Abate, Balzaretti, Chiellini, Candreva, Giaccherini, Verratti, Diamanti, Destro, El Shaarawy, Gilardino.
Armenia (4-4-1-1): Berezovsky; Arzumanyan, Mkoyan, Aleksanyan, Akt. Yedigaryan; Ozbiliz, Mkrtchyan, Art. Yedigaryan, Malakyan; Mkhitaryan; Movsisyan.
Subs: Kasparov, Harutyunyan, Hovhannisyan, Hambardzumyan, Voskanyan, Manoyan, Manucharyan, Badoyan, Yuspashyan, Muradyan, Sarkisov.