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Friendlies

  • November 14, 2012
  • • 19:50
  • • Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 20000
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Italy - France Preview: Rivals face off in Parma in anticipated year-end friendly

Didier Deschamps' men will be hoping to correct their woeful record on Italian soil, as they seek an improvement on last month's draw with Spain.

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ITALY

Sirigu
Maggio, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti
Candreva, Verratti, Marchisio
Montolivo,
Balotelli, El Shaarawy
FRANCE
France
Lloris
Debuchy, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sakho, Evra
Cabaye, Capoue, Matuidi

Menez, Giroud, Ribery

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has dropped midfielder Daniele De Rossi from his squad to face France, after the Roma player was sent off in the Derby della Capitale on Sunday for swinging at Stefano Mauri and subsequently falling foul of the manager's code of ethics.

Alessandro Florenzi is called up for the very first time, but the Azzurri coach has been dealt a setback with Domenico Criscito and Pablo Osvaldo withdrawing from the squad due to injury.

Prandelli later confirmed on Tuesday the starting eleven, which includes Ligue 1 duo Marco Verratti and Salvatore Sirigu, who incidentally play their football in France with Paris Saint-Germain, with Antonio Candreva set to win his fifth cap.

Didier Deschamps, meanwhile, is without Gael Clichy and Christophe Jallet after the full-backs limped out with injury, with Bordeaux's Benoit Tremoulinas and Olympique Lyonnais' Anthony Reveillere handed a call-up.

Yoann Gourcuff returns to the squad, but Etienne Capoue is expected to be preferred to Maxime Gonalons just behind Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi. Karim Benzema's withdrawal means Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud will be handed a start at Stadio Tardini on Wednesday.

Hugo Lloris' ongoing problems at Tottenham remains a selection headache for Deschamps to contend with, as his former Olympique de Marseille captain Steve Mandanda lies in wait for a start.
  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Italy have won five, drawn four and lost four of their 12 games in 2012 ahead of Wednesday's year-ending international against France in Parma.

  • The Azzurri won the last contest against their neighbours, prevailing 2-0 at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland in the group stage.
  • Since then, Italy have won 13 of their 19 games against France at home.

  • Italy rose to fifth in the Fifa World Rankings, whilst France dropped below Ivory Coast, Switzerland and Ecuador to 18th place.
  • France have won seven, drawn three, and lost three of their 13 games in 2012.

  • Les Bleus' last win on Italian soil came in 1994, winning 1-0 in Naples in a friendly.
  • France's last encounter on the peninsula was in 2007, a 0-0 draw in European Championship qualifying. Only Mickael Landreau, Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery were selected in both match squads.

Players to watch

S. El Shaarawy

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 20-year-old AC Milan forward has set Serie A alight with eight goals in 11 league games already. El Shaarawy has firmly found his feet at San Siro, ensuring that Zlatan Ibrahimovic's exit hasn't disrupted too much in the goal department. A fine young player, Il Faraone's pace and trickery, and adept finishing has made him a huge prospect. Wednesday's game in Parma should be the next step as he switches focus to the national team.

O. Giroud

Position: Attacker

Games: 4

  • 3
  • 1
  • 0
The Arsenal striker is finally finding the goals after his move to north London, and the national team has been benefiting from this. The 26-year-old sparkled coming off the bench against world and European champions Spain last month, bagging the equaliser, and with Karim Benzema's omission, he will be the focal point. His fantastic positioning and teamwork will give the more experienced Italian defenders a headache.

Editor's Prediction

Italy will be the more confident of both sides given their fantastic record at home against France, but the visitors, especially under Didier Deschamps have shown resilience at times. It is a transitional period, for both the Azzurri and les Bleus, but I can't see either getting the upper hand in what should be a thrilling encounter in Parma.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Italy

France

Wins
2
1
2
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Italy ITA
Italy Italy
Draw
France FRA
France France
63%
15%
22%

Top 3 Predictions

Italy ITA
2 - 1
France FRA
Italy ITA
2 - 0
France FRA
Italy ITA
1 - 2
France FRA

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