Italy will look to pull away from Slovenia at the top of Group C...
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|Slovenia: S. Handanovic; Brecko, Suler, Cesar, Jokic; Radosavljevic; Birsa, Ilicic, Koren; Novakovic, Matavz
| Italy: Buffon; Maggio, Chiellini, Bonucci, Balzaretti; Montolivo, Motta, Aquilani, Mauri; Pazzini, Cassano
- Slovenia have picked up two wins over Italy in their last five encounters (W2 D1 L2).
- Slovenia have yet to lose to the Azzurri at home (W1 D1).
- The last four matches between the teams have been decided by a single goal.
- Seven players in the Slovenian squad currently ply their trade in Serie A.
- Tim Matavz has scored three goals in three games in the qualifying campaign.
- Daniele De Rossi and Mario Balotelli were left out of the squad for disciplinary reasons.
- Six different players have scored for Italy during the current qualifying campaign.
- Antonio Cassano leads the Azzurri in scoring with two goals.
- Andrea Ranocchia was unable to shake off his knee injury and has been ruled out of Friday's encounter.
October 8, 2005
: Italy 1-0 Slovenia
Italy qualified for the 2006 World Cup with a narrow win over Slovenia at the Renzo Barbera in Palermo. Cristian Zaccardo was the hero as he came off the bench to net the winner in the 77th minute.