One last group game — and it just happens to be against a pretty familiar face.
The Trap is back. But let's hope the Azzurri don't fall into one. (See what I did there? /pats self on back)
This game, of course, isn't the only thing that Italy needs to have happen to advance. The Azzurri need a little help from their friends, the Croats, if they want to keep things simple. If say the Croats and Spain play out a draw, then things get interesting — and as a result, Italy could be on the way back and ItalJuve could be seen on a beach near you in a matter of a week or two.
It seems like media outlet is indicating that Italy manager Cesare Prandelli is going to a 4-3-1-2 formation for the decisive clash against the Irish. ... Andrea Barzagli returns today, which you'd think a 3-5-2 would be pretty much a lock, but Prandelli is going in a different direction tactically. ... Mario Balotelli picked up a knock to his knee on Saturday, but appears to have shaken it off while training yesterday. ... No players are missing out due to yellow card accumulation.
UPDATE: WE HAVE LINEUPS!
Italy (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Abate, Barzagli, Chiellini, Balzaretti; De Rossi, Pirlo, Marchisio; Thiago Motta; Cassano, Di Natale
Ireland (4-4-2): Given; O’Shea, St Ledger, Dunne, Ward; McGeady, Whelan, Andrews, Duff; Doyle, Keane