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  • June 1, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadion Letzigrund, Zürich
  • Referee: N. Hänni
  • • Attendance: 19032

Italy - Russia Preview: Prandelli’s men look to put distractions behind them in final Euro 2012 warm-up

The Azzurri will lock horns with Dick Advocaat's men on Friday in Zurich in the last friendly for both teams ahead of the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine



Maggio, Chiellini, Barzagli, Ogbonna
De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio
Cassano, Balotelli


Anyukov, Sharonov, Berezutsky, Zhirkov
Shirokov, Denisov, Zyryanov
Dzagoev, Arshavin

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will welcome Giorgio Chiellini back into the fold after the Juventus defender recovered from a thigh problem which caused him to miss the Coppa Italia final loss to Napoli.

Riccardo Montolivo has shaken off a thigh strain and will likely play in behind strikers Mario Balotelli and Antonio Cassano.

Meanwhile, Russia boss Dick Advocaat will likely hand veteran Roman Sharonov a start at centre-back in order to give Sergei Ignashevich a breather before their Euro 2012 opener against Czech Republic.

Alan Dzagoev still needs to shake off some rust before the tournament and should get the nod ahead of Marat Izmailov.

  • Italy cancelled their friendly with Luxembourg after a deadly 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck the Emilia-Romagna region on Tuesday.
  • The Azzurri went undefeated in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign (W8 D2), outscoring their opponents 20-2 in the process.
  • Domenico Criscito was dropped from Prandelli's final squad after police raided his room at Italy's training base in Coverciano as part of the Scommessopoli investigation.
  • Russia played out a 0-0 draw with Lithuania on Tuesday in their second warm-up before the summer showpiece.
  • Advocaat's side topped their Euro 2012 qualifying group after picking up seven wins in 10 games (W7 D2 L1).
  • Russia won their first and only European Championship in 1960, as the Soviet Union.

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

Players to watch

M. Balotelli

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The enigmatic Manchester City striker will be hoping to repay Cesare Prandelli’s faith after he was dropped from the Italy squad earlier in the year. The former Inter forward has been handed the No.9 shirt and will look to live up to the lofty expectations that wearing the jersey entails.

A. Arshavin

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
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The captain of the national team will be aiming to replicate his performance from the 2008 edition of the tournament when he led the Russians to an upset win over Netherlands in the quarter-finals before falling to Spain in the last four.

Editor's Prediction

Italy will be raring to go after their friendly against Luxembourg was cancelled on Tuesday and will face a stiff test against a Russian side looking to work out some kinks ahead of the summer showpiece. Both teams will compete hard but the players will be concious of not picking up any injuries.

Last Five Matches

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Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Italy ITA
Italy Italy
Russia RUS
Russia Russia

Top 3 Predictions

Italy ITA
2 - 0
Russia RUS
Italy ITA
2 - 1
Russia RUS
Italy ITA
3 - 1
Russia RUS