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WC Qualification Europe

  • September 11, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Alberto Braglia, Modena
  • Referee: A. Munukka
  • • Attendance: 18000
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Italy - Malta Preview: Prandelli's side look for their first win of qualification against minnows

Italy - Malta Preview: Prandelli's side look for their first win of qualification against minnows

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The Azzurri will host the island nation in Modena, with Roma captain Daniele De Rossi unavailable through injury

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ITALY


Buffon
Cassani, Barzagli, Bonucci, Peluso

Marchisio, Pirlo, Nocerino
 Diamanti

Destro, Osvaldo

MALTA


Hogg
Muscat, Agius, Dimech, Borg
Cohen, Schembri, Sciberras, Fenech
Bogdanovic
Mifsud

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is likely to opt for a 4-3-1-2 formation on Tuesday against Malta, after the Azzurri played out a nervy 2-2 draw with Bulgaria last Friday, fielding a 3-5-2.

The only forced change Prandelli will have to deal with is the departure of Daniele De Rossi, who limped out of the game in Sofia with a thigh strain. Antonio Nocerino should come in and replace the Roma man, playing alongside Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.

In defence, Federico Peluso and Mattia Cassani should come in at full-back to replace Christian Maggio and Emanuele Giaccherini. Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci keep their places.

In the trequartista role, Alessandro Diamanti is expected to line up behind the all-Roma pair of Pablo Osvaldo and Mattia Destro.

For Malta, they are expected to name a relatively unchanged team for the side that lost 1-0 to Armenia at the weekend.

The only change coach Pietro Ghedin could make would be to bring Ryan Fenech in for Roderick Briffa in centre midfield.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Italy remain sixth in the latest Fifa rankings, whilst Malta are way down in 139th.
  • Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, who was born in Buenos Aires, scored his first two goals for the Azzurri against Bulgaria on Friday.
  • Tuesday's game will be played at Modena's Alberto Braglia stadium, as a show of solidarity and support for victims of a recent earthquake in the Emilia region of Italy.
  • Italy have played the archipelago nation four times, winning all the ties by a combined score of 15-2.
  • The Azzurri did not lose a single game during their Euro 2012 qualification campaign, sealing qualification with two rounds to spare.
  • Malta are managed by Pietro Ghedin, who between 1996-2004, was the assistant coach of the Italian national team.
  • Striker Michael Mifsud is Malta's leading all-time goalscorer, with 36 goals.
  • The Maltese Falcons lost their last World Cup 2014 qualification match 1-0 at home to Armenia.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Mar 26, 2013 Malta 0 - Italy 2
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  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
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World Cup Qualifying - UEFA ‎(WCQ)‎ Sep 11, 2012 Italy 2 - Malta 0
  • Player Ratings
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Last Five Matches
Italy
Jun 24, 2014Italy 0 - Uruguay 1WC
Jun 20, 2014Italy 0 - Costa Rica 1WC
Jun 14, 2014England 1 - Italy 2WC
Jun 4, 2014Italy 1 - Luxembourg 1FR
May 31, 2014Italy 0 - Ireland 0FR
Malta
Nov 19, 2013Malta 3 - Faroe Islands 2FR
Oct 15, 2013Denmark 6 - Malta 0WCQ
Oct 11, 2013Malta 1 - Czech Rep. 4WCQ
Sep 10, 2013Malta 1 - Bulgaria 2WCQ
Sep 6, 2013Malta 1 - Denmark 2WCQ
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Andrew HoggGoalkeeper
5Andrei AgiusDefender
-Alexander MuscatDefender
16Edward HerreraDefender
6Luke DimechDefender
-Steve BorgDefender
4Gareth SciberrasMidfielder
8Roderick BriffaMidfielder
13André SchembriStriker
7Daniel BogdanovicStriker
9Michael MifsudStriker
12Justin HaberGoalkeeper
-Reuben GauciGoalkeeper
2Jonathan CaruanaDefender
-Ryan CamilleriMidfielder
-Ian AzzopardiDefender
10Andrew CohenStriker
-Edmond AgiusMidfielder
6Ryan FenechMidfielder
11Shaun BajadaMidfielder
14Paul FenechMidfielder
11Etienne BarbaraMidfielder
Players to Watch
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
Pablo Daniel Osvaldo
Position:
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After his goalscoring exploits in Bulgaria, the Roma striker will be looking to add to his international tally against a team who regularly concede plenty of goals.
Michael Mifsud
Michael Mifsud
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
10 2 1 0
The 31-year-old forward is one of the most famous Maltese players of all time, and has a decent strike rate for his nation. If his team are to take anything from this match, Misfud will be required to lead from the front.
Prediction
Despite the disappointment of drawing in Bulgaria, the Azzurri should have no problems seeing off the minnows in a comfortable victory.
Editor's Prediction
Italy 3
Malta 0

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