We're done with World Cup qualifying for a little while. Done with those competitive friendlies, too. Now Italy head to the tournament that it hasn't exactly done well at in the not-so-distant past.
That's right. It's Confederations Cup opening day for Gli Azzurri, with Italy and Mexico being Saturday's lone fixture. Yes, this is the same Confederations Cup that Italy bombed out of four years back after getting thumped by Brazil. And yes, this is the same Confederations Cup that Italy decided to roll out some really interesting kits at four years ago.
Don't worry. The jerseys are gonna be a lot less UPS-ish this time around.
Regardless of what color their jerseys and shorts may be, Italy has a tough opener against a Mexican side that has certainly struggled in its on bid for a spot in next year's World Cup. And with the Alberto Zaccheroni reunion waiting in the wings, Cesare Prandelli's men are obviously going to aim to begin the tournament off on the right foot. That means none of that nonsense we saw against the Czech Republic nine days prior.
Translation: It's time for Italy's defense to be rock solid again so that Gigi Buffon can go back to doing nothing during matches again and having an attack that actually knows what it's like to put a shot on target.
Just minor details. Follow as you wish, fellas.
For those of you in the States, this game will be on ESPN. Pre-game at 2:30/1:30/11:30, kickoff 30 minutes later.
Italy XI (4-3-2-1): Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, De Sciglio; De Rossi, Pirlo, Montolivo; Marchisio, Giaccherini, Balotelli
Mexcio XI (4-2-3-1): Corona; Flores, Rodriguez, Moreno, Salcido; Torrado, Aquino; Zavala, G. Dos Santos, Guardado; Hernandez