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Friendlies

  • May 29, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma

International Friendly Preview: Italy - Luxembourg

International Friendly Preview: Italy - Luxembourg

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The 2006 World Cup winner will be confident of a convincing victory against the minnows in Parma on Monday as the club aims to impress at Poland and Ukraine this summer.

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ITALY

Buffon
Maggio, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Criscito
De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio
Diamanti
Cassano, Balotelli
LUXEMBOURG

Joubert
Martino, Blaise, Philipps, Janisch
Laterza, Peters, Bettmer, Lewech
Ketinge, Deville


Italy's preparations for Euro 2012 continue with a friendly against Luxembourg, during which coach Cesare Prandelli will likely tinker to find his best possible starting XI ahead of the Group C opener with Spain on June 10.

Juventus center back Giorgio Chiellini remains sidelined with a thigh problem after missing the Coppa Italia final loss to Napoli but midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has recovered from injury and may play a part. Meanwhile, the likes of Emanuele Giaccherini and Siena striker Mattia Destro could be given their maiden bows for the Azzurri.

Striker Mario Balotelli is also back to full fitness and is expected to lead the line alongside either Antonio Cassano - who looks set for his first national team appearance since returning from a minor heart operation - or Antonio Di Natale, who has not featured for Italy since World Cup 2010 in South Africa.

On the other side, Luxembourg boss Luc Holtz will be hoping to showcase a number of younger stars against the former world champion, including 17-year-old defender Chris Philipps, Tom Laterza, and teenage striker Maurice Deville.

Veteran playmaker Rene Peters is also set to earn his 87th cap, as he closes in on his country's all-time record of 98 appearances set by defender Jeff Strasser.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Italy has won the European Championship just once, back in 1968 when it defeated Yugoslavia 2-0 in a final replay after the first match ended 1-1.
  • Prandelli's side topped qualifying Group C with a record of eight wins and two draws, only conceding two goals along the way.
  • Goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon is the active player with the most caps (113) for the Italian national team, 23 behind all-time leader Fabio Cannavaro.
  • Luxembourg has faced Italy eight times in its history, and not scored a single goal, losing all eight matches.
  • The European minnows finished bottom of Euro 2012 qualifying Group E, with a record of one win, one draw, and one loss.
  • Luxembourg is 119th in the latest FIFA world ranking, released in April 2012, and has never been placed higher than 93rd.


Want to check out Italy's competition in the Euros? Watch Croatia’s friendlies LIVE!

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