Italy vs Ireland Republic
June 18, 2012 2:45 PM EDT
Stadion Miejski — Poznań
Referee: C. Çakιr
Cesare Prandelli's men need a win and must hope that the clash between Spain and Croatia does not end in a 2-2 draw or higher in order to progress to the quarterfinals
Maggio, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Marchisio, Pirlo, Giaccherini
Di Natale, Cassano
O'Shea, Dunne, St Ledger, Ward
Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady
Italy boss Cesare Prandelli will be keen to welcome back Andrea Barzagli into the mix after the Juventus defender missed the first two games of the tournament with a thigh injury. Prandelli will likely revert back to a four-man defense, should the center back passe a late fitness test.
Mario Balotelli limped out of Saturday's training session with a knee problem and will undergo further tests to determine the extent of his injury. If the Manchester City man is not passed fit then Antonio Di Natale will likely be given the nod up front alongside Antonio Cassano.
Meanwhile, Ireland has already been eliminated from the tournament following its sorry showing in the 4-0 loss to Spain on Thursday and will have only pride to play for.
Goalkeeper Shay Given could make his final appearance for the Boys in Green on Monday after admitting that he is contemplating retirement from international football.DID YOU KNOW?
- Italy is undefeated in 12 competitive matches under Cesare Prandelli (W8 D4).
- The Azzurri have held leads in their opening two Euro 2012 encounters only to concede in the second half of both games.
- Maggio, Balotelli, Chiellini, Bonucci, and Montolivo are all one booking away from a ban.
- La Nazionale have only lost twice to the Irish in their last 11 matches (W7 D2 L2).
- Ireland has been outscored 7-1 in their first two games of the tournament.
- Damien Duff is set to make his 100 appearance for the national team on Monday in Poznan.
- Trapattoni previously coached Italy at Euro 2004 where his team was knocked out in the group stage despite not losing a game (W1 D2).
- James McClean made his competitive debut for the Boys in Green when he came off the bench in the 76th minute against Spain.
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