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  • February 29, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genova
  • Referee: F. Aydinus
  • • Attendance: 15000

Italy - USA Preview: Azzurri continue Euro 2012 preparations with visit of Jurgen Klinsmann's side

Italy - USA Preview: Azzurri continue Euro 2012 preparations with visit of Jurgen Klinsmann's side

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La Nazionale lost last time out against Uruguay, putting a spanner in Cesare Prandelli's plans prior to this summer's showpiece, but hope to fare better against the Americans


Maggio, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Criscito
Marchisio, Pirlo, Nocerino
Thiago Motta
Matri, Giovinco

C'dolo, Cameron, Parkhurst, Bocanegra
Edu, Bradley
Dempsey, Kljestan, Shea

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is expected to ring the changes from November's disappointing 1-0 reverse to Uruguay, starting in defence. Andrea Barzagli and Domenico Criscito are set to be rewarded for their impressive form of late by being given starting berths at the expense of Andrea Ranocchia and Federico Balzaretti.

Claudio Marchisio should also see himself dropped from the XI, as Antonio Nocerino is set to be handed a start in midfield. The former Palermo man should line up alongside seasoned pros Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.

In attack, Alessandro Matri and Giampaolo Pazzini are to replace previous pairing Mario Balotelli and Pablo Osvaldo, with the pair absent from the ex-Fiorentina boss' latest squad.

Meanwhile for USA, Jurgen Klinsmann is sure to name a more conventional side from the team that picked up a 1-0 win at Panama in their last match, with up to seven changes likely to take effect. The alterations should see Everton's Tim Howard return in goal, while experienced duo Steven Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra are ready to return to their rightful places in defence.

Maurice Edu are Michael Bradley are also set to anchor the team in midfield, and the late call-ups of Anderlecht star Sasha Kljestan and Dallas winger Brek Shea will see both players hope to impress alongside Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore going forward.

  • Italy's loss to Uruguay ended a run of four wins in five games, but they have not experienced back-to-back defeats under Prandelli.
  • All three of the Azzurri's defeats under the ex-Fiorentina coach have come in international friendlies.
  • Regardless, they are unbeaten against USA in their three previous meetings, winning two and drawing the other.
  • USA go into the match on the back of three consecutive victories, including two straight clean sheets against Venezuela and Panama.
  • However, bar their 3-2 win over Slovenia, they have scored no more than one goal in their eight other games under Jurgen Klinsmann.
  • USA have never beaten Italy in their three previous encounters.
  • The two teams faced each other in both the 2006 World Cup and the 2009 Confederations Cup.

Players to watch

A. Matri

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The striker has been in good form at club level for Juventus, netting a crucial equaliser versus AC Milan at the weekend, and he will hope to carry this across to the international scene.

B. Shea

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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Shea is one of the rising stars of the USMNT, and the 21-year-old Dallas midfielder will be desperate to be involved against the Azzurri, as he continues his development.

Editor's Prediction

Prandelli is likely to shuffle his squad for this contest, but his team should have more than enough in the tank to record a friendly victory.

Last Five Matches

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