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Confederations Cup Game Time Thread: Italy vs. Spain

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Shaun Botterill

Nearly a year ago Spain and Italy squared of in the final of Euro 2012. You may have heard of this already, but if you might have forgotten, consider it some kind of reminder that it did actually happen. Don't mind what the final score of that game in Kiev was, that's not important. This is about Italy and Spain, footballing heavwiehgts

Okay, so maybe the Confederations Cup isn't as big of a deal as the European Championships. Or, better yet, it definitely isn't as important as the European Championships. There ya go.

Still, it's Spain vs. Italy. It's hard to really not get intrigued when those two national teams play a game on the same field, be it a friendly or in some kind of tournament. But Gli Azzurri aren't just coming off a 4-2 beating at the hands of Brazil over the weekend where the squad looked all kinds of out of whack. Nah, there's more than that.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that Italy have a trifecta of problems entering the semifinals against Spain.

1. Andrea Pirlo might not be at full Andrea Pirlo power.

2. Definitely no Mario Balotelli through injury.

3. Cristian Maggio playing fullback in a four-man defense has become Italy's option at right back.

Crap. Anybody have some spare prayer beads or anything?

But one good thing that might come out of all this: Cesare Prandelli possibly switching to a three-man defense. I seem to have a hunch of who would occupy those three starting spots in the back. Rumor has it they're pretty good at football, too. Oh how reuniting Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini in the same defense would make a lot of us around these part make us oh-so-happy. Get it done, Mister.

Alright, enough of this nonsense. Feel free to forward any complaints to "Prandelli, Cesare" if you don't agree with the lineup and/or formation that will be facing the defending world and European champions.

LINEUPS ARE IN!

Italy XI (3-4-2-1): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Maggio, De Rossi, Pirlo, Giaccherini; Candreva, Marchisio; Gilardino

Spain XI (4-3-3): Casillas; Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Xavi; Silva, Torres, Pedro